London, June 19: The world came to an end today for about 30 minutes, at least on Facebook.
Users across the globe were unable to access their accounts on the social network after Facebook suffered a technical failure. It is the longest the social network has been unavailable since 2010.
The problem was felt by both individuals and some of the world’s largest companies, which rely on Facebook to post messages and share information about products.
“For Facebook to be completely taken offline is quite something,” said Ed Barton, a media and entertainment analyst at the technology research company Ovum.
Facebook did not provide details on what had caused the problem, though said it had resolved the issue and the site was now back online.
Users hopped on competing social networks by the droves to sound off about the disruption, and some some brands saw it as a chance to spread their own message.
The cutoff — and the worldwide response — underscored the growing power that the social network now has over the way people consume information online.
Since Mark Zuckerberg founded the company in his dorm room at Harvard, Facebook has become one of the primary ways that brands and celebrities communicate with their millions of followers. It also has become a primary source of information, as users post and share news articles and blog posts among their friends worldwide.
Facebook is also trying to increase advertising revenue by further capitalising on the reams of online information that it holds on its global users. While the cutoff came as a shock to the millions of people who now consider access to Facebook a necessity akin to food and water, the incident was met with humour.
Indeed, #Facebookdown started to trend on Twitter, a rival that Facebook had once tried to acquire, as more and more people voiced their opinion about the technical glitch.