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Outages and scandals: why influencers are rethinking Facebook and Instagram

Could influencers turn away from Facebook and Instagram after the outage?

Influencers are rethinking their businesses on Facebook and Instagram in light of last week’s outage and emerging scandals at the social media companies.

A survey of over 50 influencers complied by social listening platform HypeAuditor has revealed a majority of influencers want to be less dependent on Facebook and Instagram.

A rough calculation from fact-checking website Snopes suggested that the social media giant lost $79m in ad revenue during the downtime on October 4. The impact on influencers, however, ranged from a loss in engagement in the days after the outage and disruption to product launch plans, to a complete failure to communicate with brand partners.

One influencer reported an 80% drop in viewership in the days following, and another had to cancel a planned photoshoot over a failure to connect with a client.

A number of respondents said they were looking to diversify and invest more time in building up personal websites and blogs, and expanding on to the likes of TikTok and Pinterest.

“I have a blog page where I don’t depend on Facebook servers. Everything is mine there and no one can decide to lock me out or delete my account. I want to post more and direct more traffic to the blog,” said one influencer.

Another influencer said the outage highlighted that these platforms are “rented real estate” and a back-up that is fully owned by the content creator is needed for security.

Multiple respondents said the outage resulted in them building a contact list away from the Facebook platforms to ensure they have other avenues of communication.

Despite voicing concerns over Facebook and Instagram, some influencers said the alternatives can’t deliver the same levels of traffic and have unique audiences they can’t afford to lose.

Some respondents also commented that both Instagram and Facebook enable them to be more creative and are easier platforms to navigate.

A growing dissatisfaction with Instagram also emerged in the survey. Influencers claimed the platform doesn’t offer enough support for content creators, and there were also negative perceptions around Instagram being too money-oriented and bad for mental health.

“Instagram does little to communicate with its creators. The shift away from photos may tear its audience apart as it is seen as a reactionary move rather than in the interest of those both creating and the consumers of content,” one commented.

“The hype around IG is dying down due to recent changes by Facebook. Not to mention all the negative press that they have been getting lately. Let’s hope that Instagram starts taking more initiatives (such as ‘Born on Instagram’) to help creators learn and grow their following on IG,” said another.

Influencers, however, were conflicted over Instagram as the majority said the site is the most popular platform, with one influencer calling it the “ultimate social media presence for millennials.”

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