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Facebook Outage Killed Some Retail Sites’ Performance

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Facebook Outage Killed Some Retail Sites’ Performance
[ Business]

On Thursday night, Facebook experienced a major worldwide outage that lasted, in some cases, for a couple of hours. Things have been less-than-perfect for users since then, even after Facebook released a statement saying that everything should be a-ok. Users were still reporting this morning that Facebook was either slow to load or down altogether, although things seem to have cleared up for most users as of the writing of this article.

Not only was the outage a problem for Facebook and its users, but apparently it also hurt some major e-commerce sites that sat “spinning” while waiting for resources from Facebook to load. It appears that sites that were affected were ones that connect to Facebook’s open graph, display the “like” or “share” button, etc. According to web monitoring company Catchpoint, sites with Facebook plugins experienced “massive performance and usability issues” during the outage.

Some of the sites affected belonged to retailers like JCPenney, Urban Outfitter, L.L. Bean, Teleflora, and 1-800-Flowers.

From Catchpoint:

The issue affected mostly web sites that have placed the Facebook code inline in their page. From an end-user perspective the “spinning hourglass” never stopped while loading the web page because the browser waited and waited and waited for resources to www.facebook.com to complete which they never did. Worst case scenario users might have seen pages hanging or functionality of the page was impaired.

By contrast, sites that loaded content before making third-party requests didn’t show any problems on the user end.

Here’s a graph that they provide showing how one of the aforementioned retailers was affected:

For webmasters, this kind of thing is a reminder that outages of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google can affect their sites in a pretty serious way. Of course, Catchpoint makes a point to say that it’s more of a “wake up call” for site owners to be prepared and build their sites in a way that expects this sort of thing.

As far as the outage goes, many speculated that Anonymous may have been behind the attack. They responded via Twitter with an emphatic no:

Note: Anonymous would never attack Facebook, we have said this many times. Why would we attack a tool that many anons use to spread info?
1 hour ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto
 Reply  · Retweet  · Favorite

[h/t Business Insider]

Facebook Outage Killed Some Retail Sites’ Performance
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  • http://www.htmlbasictutor.ca/ S Emerson

    It was terrible surfing a couple of years ago when Google went down.

    Website owners need to be savvy about how these third party products and services are added to their site and make sure the web designer/developer knows how to code this stuff so when the site is down it does not affect their visitors.

    The same thing can happen when the designer/developer fetches stuff from a different server also like fonts, scripts, etc.

  • http://hastingsshihtzus.blogspot.com Jack

    Melbourne, AU: Timeout while connecting(1044) ; DOWN
    (now checking www.facebook.com…)
    (now checking www.facebook.com…)
    If 2 or more stations find an error or do not get response within 4 seconds, we consider the site to be “down”
    Check www.facebook.com from 43 locations worldwide : Full check-up of your site at WatchMouse
    Other visitors of DownOrNot had the following results for www.facebook.com:
    1 Jun 2012 09:01 – Manchester, GB: Okay(0) ; 423ms (0 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 09:01 – Copenhagen, DK: Okay(0) ; 355ms (0 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 09:01 – Moscow, RU: Operation timed out after 3000 milliseconds with 0 bytes received (Timeout was reached)(9228) ; 1772ms (0 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 09:01 – Singapore, SG: Couldn’t resolve host ‘www.facebook.com’ (Couldn’t resolve host name)(9206) (0 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 08:56 – Nagano, JP: Timeout while connecting(1044) (4 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 08:56 – Vilnius, LT: Okay(0) ; 536ms (4 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 08:56 – Manchester, GB: Okay(0) ; 422ms (4 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 08:56 – Shanghai, CN: Timeout while connecting(1044) (5 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 08:56 – Melbourne, AU: Timeout while connecting(1044) (5 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 08:55 – Amsterdam2, NL: Okay(0) ; 1160ms (6 minutes ago)
    http://www.facebook.com/
    www.facebook.com
    Like · · Share
    Melbourne, AU: Timeout while connecting(1044) ; DOWN
    (now checking www.facebook.com…)
    (now checking www.facebook.com…)
    If 2 or more stations find an error or do not get response within 4 seconds, we consider the site to be “down”
    Check www.facebook.com from 43 locations worldwide : Full check-up of your site at WatchMouse
    Other visitors of DownOrNot had the following results for www.facebook.com:
    1 Jun 2012 09:01 – Moscow, RU: Operation timed out after 3000 milliseconds with 0 bytes received (Timeout was reached)(9228) ; 1772ms (0 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 09:01 – Singapore, SG: Couldn’t resolve host ‘www.facebook.com’ (Couldn’t resolve host name)(9206) (0 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 08:56 – Nagano, JP: Timeout while connecting(1044) (4 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 08:56 – Shanghai, CN: Timeout while connecting(1044) (5 minutes ago)
    1 Jun 2012 08:56 – Melbourne, AU: Timeout while connecting(1044) (5 minutes ago)
    Friday at 2:17am · Like

    Cologne, Germany
    Resolve time: 1594 ms
    Connect time: 344 ms
    Download time: 2132 ms
    Download size: 10999 bytes
    Resolved IP: 2a03:2880:10:8f02:face:b00c:0:25
    Status: OK
    Friday at 2:24am · Like

    Stockholm, Sweden
    Resolve time: 1 ms
    Connect time: 3541 ms
    Download time: 1111 ms
    Download size: 243 bytes
    Resolved IP: 66.220.149.11
    Status: Timeout while connecting
    Friday at 2:24am · Like

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