Analysis of Google search data reveals that online searches for Mark Zuckerberg in the U.K. exploded 4,400 percent on the 4th October 2021. This was the time when Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp experienced an outage (as Sky News reports). It was quickly apparent the event had become a widespread phenomenon across the globe.
With some 3.5 billion users, Facebook has built itself into a massive platform with messaging, livestreaming, virtual reality and many other digital services. Behind this, hundreds of thousands of apps and small businesses are reliant upon Facebook’s operations. These facts indicate the significance of the social media service’s downtime.
A new finding comes from the website VPNOverview.com. The analysis reveals that online interest for Mark Zuckerberg skyrocketed to 44 times the average volume in one day. This would normally represent an unprecedented spike in interest for the main player behind the trio apps that went down. However, such is the power of Facebook and its related products that puzzled, and sometimes angry social media users took to Google and other search engines in an attempt to ascertain the problem
A spokesperson for VPNOverview.com contacted Digital Journal about the Internet survey findings: “It is fascinating to see how the downtime of a popular app can trigger such immense search interest for the CEO of the company.”
Catching the public mood, the message continues: “Facebook spends over $23 million a year on Mark Zuckerberg’s security, and search trends like this can almost justify this budget.”
As to what was behind the outage, events of this kind can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as denial-of-service (DNS) problems, a software bug, or even a hack on the website’s servers.
The information from the search analysts continues: “Until we have an official confirmation from Facebook, we can only speculate – but we hope the outage has not been caused by the worst-case scenario, which is a hack on Facebook’s servers – this could mean the personal details of hundreds of millions of people could be compromised.”
As well as Zuckerberg, Google searches for Facebook rose 1,150 percent in just over an hour from the point of downtime. This was matched by searches for partner apps Instagram and Whatsapp, which skyrocketed 1,228 percent and 1,850 percent respectively.