It's July 3rd and social media is broken. It's spawned a search trend for InstagramDown on Google. Not just Instagram but Twitter, and Facebook all appear to be having major issues around the world. Almost tragically the only social shares actually going through are those about social media not working... I noticed the issue early this morning while posting and scheduling posts for tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Independence Day
One of our most revered and celebrated holidays in the USA, Independence Day is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Will we be able to share our pictures and videos with friends and family who reside far away? Or will we be hopelessly stuck actually communicating and participating with those around us? What about businesses who have invested in clever content for the holiday in hopes to get some interesting leads?
Is There Reason for Concern?
Probably not, for the most part at least. As an individual occurrences like InstagramDown serve as a stark reminder of just how dependent we've become on these platforms. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are convenient, user friendly, ubiquitous, but have also become a single point of failure, a target for hackers, and a target for governments worldwide who aren't quite sure what to do with them.
Businesses Should Consider Alternatives
Our personal social posts aren't necessarily a major loss but as a business I can't help but be concerned. If Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter is down and my cousin can't see my happy birthday message it's hardly a catastrophic event. However, many businesses have invested heavily in their social media content, profiles, and followers. As platforms strive to differentiate they've made it nearly impossible to share the same content across platforms. What if it just stopped working one day? What if the results of all the ad spend, posts, videos etc. all just went away? Or what if the requirements, or the user base, or the technology changes and you're forced to switch to a different platform? If a business loses even just one day worth of leads and sales that could easily equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.
Content is Expensive and Isn't Portable Anymore
Incidents like InstagramDown are a great example of exactly the reason I believe everyone using these platforms for business should seriously consider using a website with a domain they own as a hub for all of their content. Siloing all of your leads, contacts, followers and content within a platform you don't own or control represents a substantial risk of loss. However if your content is posted on your own websites and blogs that you control can be easily shared, backed up, or relocated to any social media platform you choose with reduced risk. Most large organizations already have strategies like this in place, but I've found that most smaller organizations lack the personnel or expertise to keep up with advancements in technology.