Instagram is testing feature that tells panicking users the service is broken again
Have you tried reading books?
Facebook-owned Instagram is to start testing a new feature which informs users they may not be able to post or view snaps of dinner, memes, selfies, or whatever it is people are interested in showing off to others because the service is broken.
The announcement follows a high-profile outage that affected the entirety of Facebook's internet estate for six hours at the beginning of last week.
With 3.5 billion user accounts across Facebook's anti-social network, Instagram, and messaging platform WhatsApp, it's conceivable that such a prolonged absence might have caused some to scream, cry, tear their hair out, or reach for a paper bag to hyperventilate into.
Then again, it's equally conceivable that the majority saw the spinning circle of doom, shrugged, then buckled in for another marathon of Squid Game, which is pretty good to be fair.
It hasn't been a great week for the gazillion-dollar company as downtime for its flagship services returned on Friday. Apparently Instagram was being finnicky on Monday as well, but we wouldn't know because we were watching Squid Game have a life.
- Australian PM and Deputy threaten Facebook and Twitter with defamation liability for users' posts
- Facebook rendered spineless by buggy audit code that missed catastrophic network config error
- The planet survived six hours without Facebook. Let's make it longer next time
- Facebook, Instagram finally end days of uptime by returning to some downtime
- We have some sad news about Facebook. It has returned to the internet after six-hour mega outage
Just think of all those billions Marky Z couldn't cash. It's invigorating.
Instagram said: "We're testing a new feature that will notify you in your Activity Feed when we experience an outage or technical issue, and when it is resolved. We won't send a notification every single time there is an outage, but when we see that people are confused and looking for answers, we'll determine if something like this could help make things clearer.
"This test will run in the US and go on for the next few months. Just like any experiment, this may be something we roll out more widely, but we want to start small and learn. And if it makes sense to, we'll expand to more people."
Which really does make it sound like people burst out into the streets screaming whenever they can't mindlessly scroll down through their favourite influencers' "content" for hours on end.
Again, we wouldn't know.
It is more likely an attempt to keep users informed, as many, for better or worse, rely on Facebook services to help business tick over or stay in touch with friends and family.
But if Zuckerberg insists on building his own internet, which will crash to the ground over a BGP misconfiguration – well, you only have yourselves to blame. ®