The Amount of People that Turned to the Open Web During Facebook’s Outage is Kind of Incredible

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For over five hours this week, the world lived without Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. The internet monolith took a lot down with it — slowing down Snapchat, Tik Tok and Gmail, and many DNS services, but there was a silver lining to social blackouts.

When events like this happen, Taboola’s direct relationships with premium publisher partners, from the largest national and local TV news networks to the largest chains of newspapers, allows us to quantify the impact on the open web.

Publisher sites saw a 21% increase in traffic globally this week compared to last week.

We can also see this trend in Taboola Newsroom, a tool that helps editorial teams with real-time data insights. Here’s a quick look at the traffic impact to publisher sites. Both direct traffic and search traffic to open web articles grew tremendously as traffic from social sites waned.

Here’s a snapshot of how Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp dominated news topic interests over the course of the eight hours while Facebook was down. They overtook those that are typically the largest US news topics — Trump, police and football news in the US for the day.

In the aftermath of the outage, we see news about interest in news about Facebook starting to wane, whereas news about WhatsApp and Instagram hold their spot in the limelight.

While Facebook’s outage impacted many businesses and individuals across the globe — that’s not to be taken lightly. But the outage also drove traffic to news sites that often fight Facebook tooth and nail for attention, a silver lining to celebrate.

Our mission at Taboola is to offer companies of all types alternatives to Facebook, so that they can be less dependent on the monolith at times like these.

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