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Monday, March 20, 2023

How Much Money Did Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg, Lose Per Minute During the Facebook Outage?

By Anri Ichimura , esquiremag.ph 

In case you missed it, Facebook’s family of platforms went down earlier this morning (Philippine time) sending pretty much the majority of the Facebook-using world into a tailspin. While users were twiddling their thumbs, waiting for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, the Facebook Inc. group was bleeding millions by the minute. 

In the world of digital, it’s not an option to have an off day. While some companies can enjoy weekends where no one has to be in the office, Facebook has created a business model that requires 24/7 monitoring to keep that ad money coming. But what happens when the site goes down? They lose money—fast. 

What happened? 

Facebook and its subsidiaries, including Instagram and WhatsApp, were down for a whopping total of six hours—this is six times longer than Facebook’s 2019 outage. After integrating themselves into the lives of three billion users, Facebook and its apps have become a prime source of information and communication for over a third of the world. So when these apps are down, it becomes an event

According to experts, the outage was caused by a configuration issue, particularly Domain Name Server (DNS) failure. The DNS is essentially the “phonebook” of the Internet, converting website names into IP addresses. No IP address, no access. 

Facebook’s engineers eventually resolved the issue, but not before costing Facebook six hours of activity—and several stock points. 

Facebook was down for approximately six hours, according to Downdetector

How much money did Facebook lose?

According to a CNBC report from May 2021, the GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) companies earn anywhere from $200,000 to $830,000—every minute. These high-speed earners get revenues primarily from sales, whether through ads or their products. In Facebook’s case, the tech giant earns a hefty cut of their revenues from social media advertisements, and their business model only requires one thing: connection. When Facebook’s apps, like IG, goes down, so do their revenues. 

Based on CNBC’s minute metric, Facebook lost $72,697,320 in the time their sites were inaccessible by users around the world. This is in line with Forbes’ estimation that Facebook brings in $330 million every 24 hours in sales.

But while Facebook lost millions, Zuckerberg lost billions.

How much did Mark Zuckerberg lose? 

Stocks plummeted by five percent as Facebook faced a global outage—just as a Facebook whistleblower exposed Facebook’s failure to address misinformation in a damning Wall Street Journal report. The whistleblower is Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager whose claims that Facebook puts “profits over people”—coupled with the outage—were enough to encourage a Facebook stock selloff that chipped off about $6.11 billion from Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth. 

Facebook stocks dipped by 4.9 percent, dropping Zuckerberg’s net worth to $122 billion. According to Bloomberg, the Facebook founder has lost $18 billion in the last few weeks, made worse by the whistleblower allegations that came just one day before the Facebook outage. While there is no official connection between the two, the consequential timing has led many to speculate. 

Suffice it to say, it’s been a rough week for Zuckerberg. 

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