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BAD FOR BIZ: Facebook's Outage Hammered E-Commerce Sites Worldwide

Nicholas Carlson

In various geographies, Facebook was down for a couple hours yesterday.

Turns out this had a big impact on lots of e-commerce sites that connect to Facebook's "open graph" (probably for user-login or "likes.")

According to Web monitoring firm Catchpoint, sites affected included Urban Outfitters, L.L. Bean, HSN, JCPenney, Teleflora, and 1-800 Flowers.

This meant lots of "pinwheels" for customers visiting those sites. That's bad for business—for both the ecommerce sites and Facebook.

Facebook's current business—advertising—is decelerating, and so people who are buying the stock hope that someday, the company will figure out how to monetize its 900 million users. If Facebook doesn't prove to be a reliable partner to e-commerce sites, e-commerce will not be the solution.

Here's a series of Catchpoint charts illustrating one major e-commerce site's downtime during Facebook's outage.

Performance Impact of Facebook down:

Document Complete Scatterplot:

Performance Impact = Bottleneck Time by Zone

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