The Weekly Download – October 8, 2021

Happy Friday, and welcome back to The Weekly Download! We’re all looking forward to a long weekend, and are wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends who will be celebrating.

Here’s the top digital marketing and social media news from around the internet that you might’ve missed this week: Facebook’s global outage and its many ramifications, World Mental Health Day, how digital habits have changed in 2021, Instagram’s new format for video, and some Friday Fun.

Facebook’s Global Outage — And the Aftermath

If you’re an avid social media user — whether for personal or business reasons — you’ll already know that Facebook suffered a massive worldwide outage on Monday that affected Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. While technology snafus are not uncommon, having several major apps go dark at the same time is unusual.

For some it was a minor inconvenience — for others, it was a “destabilizing and disorienting seven hours,” as described by HuffPost, especially for those in countries like Brazil, where WhatsApp has become a vital communication service. The outage has (rightly) sparked renewed conversations about Facebook’s broad reach and negative impacts, especially its involvement in ‘digital colonialism’ in the Global South.

And just how much did small business owners lose when their ‘rented’ spaces on Facebook’s social infrastructure was down? 

A new article by Mashable highlights the devastating effects of Facebook’s outage, with one small business owner reporting sales were one fourth of what they would typically expect. 

While the outage has been resolved, the conversations around platform instability and the importance of “owned” digital spaces has just begun. For small businesses that mainly rely on Facebook-owned channels for sales and brand awareness, diversification on channels like Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok should be top of mind in order to enhance digital agility when similar situations arise.

Further chatter is taking place after the company wide outage followed Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen’s, appearance on 60 Minutes Sunday night. Additionally, Haugen testified before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday asking Congress to help “change the rules Facebook plays by” to create a safer space for users. There is a lot to unpack as we continue to learn more. You can check out her full testimony below.

October 10 is World Mental Health Day 2021

Sunday, October 10 marks World Mental Health Day 2021 — a time to bring extra attention to our mental health amid some of the most unprecedented hurdles of our lifetimes.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on people’s mental health, particularly those working on the front lines, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions. And unfortunately, because of the nature of COVID-19, critical services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders have been significantly disrupted.

During this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign, the World Health Organization is showcasing mental health efforts made across the globe and encouraging social media users to highlight their positive stories as an inspiration to others using the hashtag #WorldMentalHealthDay.

To learn more about World Mental Health Day 2021, access important resources, and more, visit the World Health Organization’s website.

What Happens on the Internet Every Minute?

Don’t think your online activity has changed much in the past year or two? You might be surprised to find out how others are spending their time across the “world wide web” in 2021!

If you’re like most people, you’re spending more time on social apps, spending more money via digital channels, and you’re logging in to work from home regularly.

To get the full picture of how online habits have changed in 2021, check out Domo’s Data Never Sleeps 9.0 infographic.

Instagram Video Feed Posts Into a Single Format

And in other Instagram news this week, the app has finally merged its long-form IGTV offering into a more general ‘Instagram Video’ format – a move that will hopefully create a more streamlined Instagram experience.

Here’s what Instagram had to say about the update:

“Starting today, we’re combining IGTV and feed videos into one format – Instagram Video. We’re also introducing a new Video tab on your profile, where this combined video format will live, to make it easier for people to discover new video content.”

Video continues to be essential when it comes to visual storytelling. We’re excited to see how brands and creators on Instagram continue to make standout content — and work with our clients to do the same! 

Friday Fun

So maybe Monday’s widespread social media outage wasn’t all doom and gloom — check out these brands who got in on the fun:

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site