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The Pressure to Perform: The Facebook Wakeup Call

By Steve Feloney | October 8, 2015

CATEGORIES: Performance Analytics, Web Performance

Facebook PerformanceWhat happens when a website goes down, is unresponsive or slow? In the age of on-demand fulfillment, users meet this kind of poor performance with frustration and anger. Even worse they share those sentiments with others. So what happens when one of the biggest websites in the world goes down three times in less than two weeks? Not only are users agitated, they also start to worry such downtime is the sign of a trend.

That’s exactly how users are feeling after Facebook had its third outage since September 17. The reaction to each crash has become more and more panicked, with users turning to competing platform Twitter in droves to express their dismay at Facebook’s instability (not that Twitter hasn’t had its own performance problems). The hysteria was not simply contained to overdramatic Tweets, however—Facebook faced financial repercussions as well. After their most recent outage, Facebook stock dropped 3.8%, demonstrating just how seriously performance hiccups can affect business.  The Facebook outage not only affects Facebook’s business but it can also affect yours.

The reality is that Facebook is one of the most important forces in the digital world, and with over 40% of top websites using Facebook integration, their business and reputation are affected and many times harder hit when Facebook has problems. Performance issues can be fatal for businesses, and the vast majority can’t afford to alienate their customers.

We need to look at these Facebook outages as a wakeup call.  Increasingly, more sites and applications rely on third party services.  On average 1/3 of company websites are made up of third party services and that number is only growing.  If Facebook, Twitter and Amazon as well as DoubleClick and Google  all have outages, you know that every one of the  third party services you depend on can and will have outages and performance issues.

So, what can you do about it? Make sure you’re prepared to address the performance issues when they happen. You need to pinpoint the problem, be able to quickly assess if it truly is an issue and if it is, resolve it before your users jump ship to a competitor.  When it comes to third party issues, just knowing a URL isn’t enough.  Many URLs are convoluted and hard to understand.  Knowing which third party service is causing the problem is not always easy to decipher.  Also keep in mind, IT operations do not always know all the third party services that are used on a site or an app.  The business and developers do not always disclose all services to IT ops.  That means when a third party service is causing a problem and all IT has to go on is a URL, problems can fester for much longer than necessary.  Performance analytics can be the deciding factor between making green, or running into the red.  But you need to make sure your performance analytics can properly group and call out the third party vendors, not just a URL, that might be causing issues. Keynote Digital Performance Intelligence can provide insights into the performance of all of an organization’s digital assets, including all third party services, ensuring IT professionals are able to pinpoint the problem and fix it before it makes headlines.

Digital Performance Intelligence

Don’t just trust third party vendors will keep their services up and performing well.  We know that isn’t the case.  Take an active role and mitigate the risks that may lead to less than satisfied customers.

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