How much ad revenue does Facebook lose out on when its platforms go on the fritz?
More than you probably make in a year … or 50.
On Thursday and Friday, Facebook experienced what was reportedly the longest partial global outage in the company’s history. For around 14 hours, some users had trouble accessing or posting to Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, while many social media managers across the globe were temporarily locked out of Ads Manager.
Without access to Ads Manager, advertisers can’t spend on Facebook or optimize their campaigns – and Facebook loses money. At least in theory.
This outage could have cost Facebook more than $53 million in ad revenue.
How did we arrive at that sum? Get out your napkins, it’s time for some fuzzy math: Facebook made $33.84 billion in global ad revenue last year and that, divided by the number of hours in a year, means that Facebook makes roughly $3.7 million in ad revenue every hour (not accounting for seasonality).
(To take that one step further, just for fun, Facebook rakes in more than $1,000 in ad revenue every second. In the time it took you to read that sentence, Facebook pulled in about $3,500.)
Multiple social media buyers at agencies told AdExchanger these ballpark numbers sound about right.
But wait a sec – just because Ads Manager was down, that doesn’t necessarily mean Facebook lost out on anything.
“There’s probably nothing preventing them from still meeting their commitments by increasing ad loads, [and] maybe very little was lost entirely because it couldn’t deliver during those 14 hours,” said Adam Heimlich, an independent consultant and former head of HX at Horizon Media. “That’s the nice thing about controlling delivery of your sales.”
Facebook gave the all-clear early Thursday afternoon, blaming the outage on a “server configuration change.”