Dubai: Last night’s social media outage caused a havoc in people’s lives. It brought to light the dependency on social media, whether it be for sourcing news and information, sharing updates, or simply connecting with the world. Among the most affected segments of society were social media influencers as their bread and butter depends on the social media. So how did they cope?
Indian expat Niki Shah, a social media influencer, said it was very hard for her to accept three major social media platforms being down. “In a technologically advanced world that we are currently living in, it was very hard to accept that not one, but three such big platforms WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook were not working for so many hours.”
She said social media platforms are no longer just for entertainment but are a proven business tool. “Not being able to access social media when being in the middle of an important campaign was hard for me.”
Turkish expat Safak Kural, 35, a multi-award winning lifestyle influencer, said WhatsApp and Instagram crashing left him feeling very low.
“I tried to watch a movie on Netflix. But my mind was not at ease. I kept checking my Instagram to see if the connection was back."
"I felt so disconnected from the world without access to my WhatsApp.”
Russian influencer and entrepreuner in Dubai, Antonia Valentine, 34, said: “My life is connected to digital in a big way. From a business perspective, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook are my main tools of communication. When these three platforms crashed, I was inundated with many phone calls.”
Valentine said she was hoping the matter would have been resolved faster than it did. “We have had social media outages before but not for this long. Six hours to fix the problem was way too long. We influencers lost many views on our posts as a result.”
She added: “What I personally learnt from this incident is that you always have to keep all contacts, contracts and media backed up independently on a hard drive.”
It is the same for Pakistani influencer, Anna Khan, 35, who said the social media outage affected her badly. “Yesterday one of my promotional reels was supposed to go up for a clothing brand which was recently launched in Dubai. They handpicked a few influencers to model their products and promote the brand. We were working on this project for a long time.”
“When the outage happened it was my peak engagement time on social media. My audience is really high at that time. But unfortunately people were not able to see the content.”
She said she was at a live event to promote this brand when the outage happened. “Besides the live event not getting off to the start we would have expected it to be, I lost many views on my posts owing to the outage.”
Rutavi Mehta, 32, influencer and entrepreneur, also said she felt handicapped with the social medial outage. “When WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram crashed, it was hard for me. I had to finish my social media paid content for some brands. I was not able to meet my deadline as a result.”
She said: “For influencers, every single minute matters as it means engaging with an audience and getting the desired viewership. I went back to the old style of communication – through SMS and making phone calls.”
Mehta said she also felt disconnected from family as they regularly chat on WhatsApp.