What happens to web traffic patterns when Facebook goes down
Chartbeat’s Josh Schwartz, on the Nieman Journalism Lab, sharing what the web analytics company found when Facebook went down for 45 minutes in August 2018:
What did people do? According to our data, they went directly to publishers’ mobile apps and sites (as well as to search engines) to get their information fix.
Publishers must be happy about this : it means most users did not — after all — forget about them. It simply means they prefer to wait for their Facebook feeds to show them some news rather than visiting websites individually.
The users’ blind trust or naïveté in the news feed is what has been problematic in the last couple of years: How accountable must algorithms be when it comes to news and informing the public, especially when we know that is how most people get their news?
This is a whole other debate, but then :
Google Chrome Suggestions, a personalised news feed built into Chrome’s mobile browser, is up 20×.
Facebook is the biggest fish in this pond and it — understandably — gets most of the attention but Google is right there, and this Chrome “personalised news feed” should also be questioned, along with YouTube, Google search results, and Google News.
Another interesting part:
Mobile traffic has seen double-digit growth and surpassed desktop, which saw double-digit declines.
Smartphones have definitely replaced PCs as the main — and sometimes only — computing device.