Continuity of Business: Learning from Instagram’s system failures

Go Lean Commentary

Spent time on Social Media lately? It’s all the rage!

Most Social Media sites – think: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – allow consumer accounts for free. Their business model is to sell “eye balls”, advertisements based on a large (and growing) viewing audience. The goal of this business model is to fulfill the promise of being connected with friends (physical and virtual); following the sun … with 24-7-365 coverage.

(This writer, while living in North America, has actual friends on Facebook who live and work in India and Pakistan).

According to a previous blog-commentary, Continuity of Business (CoB) is the simple concept to ensure that if there are any extraordinary events – i.e. emergencies and natural disasters – that the tools and techniques are in place to pick-up and continue for business-as-usual. This is important for these Social Media business models.

For these sites, if the promise of 24-7-365 is broken, then it is Big News. See the example here of the recent incident with Instagram and the related VIDEO (of an earlier outage in March):

Title: Instagram back online after a worldwide outage left irritated users complaining of being unable to load pictures on the site

  • The issue focused around new content on the site not loading correctly 
  • It appeared that existing and older content could still be seen and viewed  
  • The latest stories were also unable to be found or seen by users on the app  

By: Joe Pinkstone For Mailonline

Instagram crashed for some users around the world, with people complaining they were unable to load new pictures on the app.

Reports have now stopped coming in and it appears to be resolved, but there is no official word from the Facebook-owned site.

The home page was displaying older pictures but new content failed to appear, at least for some users.

The problem stretched to stories as well, although older stories could still be loaded and viewed.

The reason behind the issue remains unknown but the outage started around 3:37pm BST.

Affected areas included Europe, Australia, South America and the mainland US and a smattering of users complained of login and website trouble (seven and five per cent of complaints, respectively).

But the primary issue appeared to be with the news feed as 86 per cent of all issues centered around the lack of content loading, according to outage site “downdetector“.

This was the second outage of the last 24 hours for Instagram as a spike in user complaints was also seen around 8pm BST yesterday.

It comes exactly a month after the Mark Zuckerberg empire of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp was struck by a huge outage.

Facebook and Instagram were forced to apologise after users at this time were unable to load the sites and were faced with a ‘can’t be reached’ message for four hours.

Whatsapp, owned by Facebook, also suffered a four hour outage for some users internationally. reported over 7,700 complaints that Facebook was down in the UK.

MailOnline has approached Instagram for comment.

Source: Published May 14, 2019  Retrieved May 23, 2019 from:


VIDEO – Facebook was down for hours on Wednesday, including Instagram and Messenger –

CBS News
Published on Mar 13, 2019 –
Facebook was partially down in the United States on Wednesday. In many cases, the platform wasn’t working at all. BBC News’ Dave Lee reports from San Francisco.

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There is a plan for a home-grown Social Media site for the Caribbean, This is embedded in the book Go Lean…Caribbean, which serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). There will be the need to employ our own CoB strategies, tactics and implementations to ensure 24-7-365 compliance. This means learning lessons from other sites like Facebook and Instagram; (same company by the way). Our CoB plans must be “Step One, Day One” in the Go Lean roadmap.

The Go Lean book features one advocacy (Page 111) for fostering Social Media sites in the Caribbean. That advocacy is entitled: “10 Ways to Impact Social Media“. These “10 Ways” include the following highlights, headlines and excerpts:

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market – Ratify treaty for the CU.
This treaty allows for the unification of the region into one market, thereby expanding to an economy of 30 countries, 42 million people and GDP of over $800 Billion (circa 2010), thereby creating the economies of scale to deploy technology investments such as web portal and e-Deliveries. The portal will grant free access, email, IM, and profile pages for CU stakeholders (resident, visitor & Diaspora). The CU will also facilitate deployments of Libraries through out the region. These edifices will serve as learning centers and arrange for the public’s access to the Internet.
2 CU Social Media Home Pages – Facebook & Twitter

The CU will use Facebook (FB) & Twitter for normalized communications with stakeholders. The CU will feature its own channel on Facebook and Twitter for publishing notices and accessing the portal. CU users can even log-on to the portal with FB or Twitter user profiles. Trending data will be published and available for data-mining.

3 Hi Density Wi-Fi & Mobile
4 Diaspora Marketing & Tourism Outreach
5 CU Asian Outreach
6 Contact Center for e-Government Services
7 Contact Center for Tech Support
8 Reverse-911 Messaging
9 Postal Union Interface

The accedence of the CU will transfer jurisdiction of the region’s postal efforts to the Caribbean Postal Union. The CPU will employ hybrid e-mail/postal mail schemes (Last-leg, First-leg, FB/Twitter delivery notification) to facilitate efficiency.

10 Big Data Informatics

Internet & Communication Technologies are regarded as the “great equalizer”; it is where small states and large states are able to easily compete on the basis of merit, talent and competence, not just population size. The theme of doubling-down on the ICT & ‘Social Media’ landscape has been detailed in many previous Go Lean commentaries; consider this sample list here: e-Government 3.0 – Improved governance is the first benefactor of ICT & Social Media Location Matters – For location of Data Centers – even in a Virtual World Alibaba Cloud stretches global reach with four new Data Center facilities Lessons from China – WeChat: Model for Caribbean Social Media Net Neutrality and the innovation culture – It must matter here in the Caribbean

The Caribbean’s Social Media offering is just a subset of the overall Electronic Commerce (e-Commerce) landscape. This can lower the cost of living and doing business in the homeland. In order to furnish the prospects of e-Commerce, we need to have our Caribbean Cloud enabled all the time, the whole 24-7-365.

Will we suffer from the periodic outages as Instagram just reported?

The Go Lean roadmap prepared for this eventuality with its Data Center “Arts & Sciences”; notice this excerpt from Page 106:

High Availability (HA)
HA is a system design approach (hardware, software and networking) that ensures operational performance will be met, like parallel processing or mirroring. There are systems (i.e. hospitals, banking, electrical grid) that must maximize availability and minimize downtime. Recovery time or estimated time of repair is closely related to availability, optimizing the time to recover from planned or unplanned outages.
A CU mission is to facilitate quick recoveries after hurricanes [and other disasters].

ICT, Social Media and e-Commerce are positioned to impact Caribbean communities. Compared to our status quo, we must be better than the examples in the foregoing stories; we must sustain our systems and processes. This is how we will be a better homeland to live, work and play.  🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.

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