What's the Deal with Facebook, Foursquare Outages?

By Cindy Waxer October 06, 2010

If only public opinion of Facebook’s service delivery were as favorable as critics’ reviews of “The Social Network,” a cinematic account of Mark Zuckerberg and his creation of the social networking phenomenon.

Facebook reported that unspecified site issues caused the site to be slow or unavailable for some of its 500 million users on Tuesday. Spokeswoman Kathleen Loughlin wrote an e-mail to the Associated Press early Wednesday explaining the firm was working on the problem and followed up shortly after to say the issue had been resolved.

Facebook also experienced a technical glitch on Sept. 23, which impeded access for several hours, resulting in complaints from users. The site also experienced numerous API problems, and its “Like” buttons, embedded on more 350,000 sites across the Internet, also weren’t working. Tuesday's outage came 12 hours before the company was to make announcements at an invite-only event at its Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters.

In the meantime, “The Social Network” opened on the first weekend of October and earned itself the No. 1 spot with total box-office earnings amounting to approximately $23 million.

Receiving mixed reviews is Zuckerberg’s donation of $100 million to the Newark, N.J., school system last week. In an episode of The Oprah Show, Zuckerberg pledged his donation in Facebook stock alongside Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Zuckerberg’s detractors are crying foul, saying that his charitable donation intentionally coincided with the release of “The Social Network” in order to polish his steely portrayal in the film.

Facebook isn’t the only social-media site to suffer an outage in recent days. Location-based site Foursquare experienced two in as many days. Foursquare blames the 11-hour outage on a database problem and has promised to take preventative measures.

According to a Foursquare statement: "Starting around 11:00 a.m. EST yesterday, we noticed that one of these shards was performing poorly because a disproportionate share of check-ins were being written to it.”

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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