Influencers respond to Instagram's major disturbances: "It was a pain"
Petras, who runs an Instagram account focused on wine named @chelloveswine, says she has the most engagement on Wednesdays, probably because of the popularity "Wine Wednesday", where users post memes and pictures related to wine.
But not this Wednesday. Facebook ( FB ) was struck by a partial interruption affecting users from all over the world for more than 20 hours. Its other platforms, like Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, also experienced problems. Facebook blamed the break on a "server change configuration".
Influencers have to move fast or lose money. Petras changed a paid Instagram service for a company she is a fire ambassador for all the way to Saturday. She couldn't do it before because she had other sponsored services scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
"It was a pain," said Petras. "I had to move my schedule and find out how to still include this post."
She was not alone in having to delay paid posts. Influencer marketing agencies like Village Marketing, linking social media stars to branding deals, said it had to move hundreds of posts to Thursday. A similar platform called Activate said the brands had to delay campaigns or get influencers to submit content again.
It was an alarm clock for some users about how much power Instagram has.
"[It’s] a reminder of the importance of cultivating and maintaining influence over a variety of digital channels," said Lauren McGrath, studio director and strategy at Activate. "If Instagram were to disappear tomorrow, as it effectively did yesterday, it would hurt a lot of influencers who have built and made money on their personal brands at the back of this single platform."
The exit became a cultural moment, with everyone from celebrities to social media, influencers, brands and the average user posting it on competing products, including Twitter.
Andrew Clark, a Facebook editor at Indianapolis Star, a Indiana based news organization, used the publication's official Twitter account to search for cute animal images. Then he shared them in a story on the IndyStar website.
"Hi there is IndyStar's social media guy. Facebook is down. I'm bored. Tweet some cute animal pictures on me or something," Clark wrote.
Celebrities, including actor Mindy Kalling and Lindsay Lohan, also weighed in.
Lindsay Lohan tweeted
: "@instagram please contact me", which even got a response from Instagram head Adam Mosseri. He wrote back:
Some brands have capitalized on the outbreak to poke fun on Facebook. Denny's tweeted: "instagram and facebook are down but Denny is always open."
People complained about it in reality as well.
At a PR event on Wednesday evening for Campari liqueur, I participated with was convinced of interruption and kept refreshing Instagram to see if it was backed up (included with myself). But it did not stop the complainants standing at the two photo boats that were put in at the event to get a good Instagram shot to send later (again, guilty).
Even when it was down, people couldn't stop looking at the app. "I checked my phone 15 times to know that Instagram was down," says Petras, the social media.