Meanwhile, at Facebook: Outages and Name Changes

Kierstyn Schneck
August 7, 2019

If you had trouble posting to your Instagram or Facebook this past weekend, you were far from alone. Facebook, and by extension Instagram, experienced another global outage this past Sunday morning. Users took to Twitter to vent, cry, and ask the same question: What gives, Facebook?

This is not the first time users took to Twitter en masse to meme away their feelings. The platform experienced a similar outage in mid-June and again over the Fourth of July weekend, making this the third outage this summer.  

What’s causing these outages? Well, Facebook has been vague with the details. In July, a “routine maintenance operation” accidentally triggered a bug that affected uploading and posting images. After each occurrence, Facebook tells us the issue is resolved. Yet, as the frequency of these issues increase, many users are left wondering what Facebook is actually doing to prevent more outages.  

Well, good news, folks: Facebook is taking action and making some changes…sort of. In case you were ever confused by who exactly is the cause of these outages on your favorite platforms, Facebook is about to clear everything up for you. 

Introducing: “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook”. That’s right, your favorite apps are getting a new name from Papa Zuck. 

According to The Information, this new rebranding is an effort to better credit Facebook for the two apps’ performance and user gains. Facebook has owned both Instagram and WhatsApp for quite some time, but until now, each app has mostly been branded and operated independently. It’s a surprising decision, especially in the wake of Facebook’s privacy scandals and declining brand trust in the past year. 

This name change feels ill-timed. Instead of addressing users’ concerns over outages with proactive measures, Facebook is busy sticking its name on everything.  

Whether the name change will affect user trust and app preference remains to be seen. In the meantime, let’s hope Twitter remains strong so we have at least one social media platform to complain on.