Facebook goes down while testing new features

Facebook was deliberately shut down early on Friday morning for almost two and a half hours while staff fixed a glitch. In an official statement the company explained that “an automated system for verifying configuration values ended up causing much more damage than it fixed”.

According to Computerworld, this was the second outage in as many days for Facebook.

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Facebook was quick to address Thursday’s error and admit the problem in public.

In a Facebook note, the company apologised, stating: “Early today Facebook was down or unreachable for many of you for approximately 2.5 hours. This is the worst outage we’ve had in over four years, and we wanted to first of all apologise for it. We also wanted to provide much more technical detail on what happened and share one big lesson learned.”

The note goes on to explain in detail the technical specifications of what actually went wrong, which you can read here.

TechCrunch reports that it’s been a big day at Facebook: “This morning the site pushed out a nifty new registration widget for third party sites. In the last few hours it’s also pushed out a revamped version of its Pages, which brings the UI more in line with its updated profiles design, which launched earlier this month. And there are multiple reports on Twitter about a new ‘Memories’ feature that lets you scan through your entire history on the site.”

Apparently, the site may have had too many launches happening at the same time. A tweet from Facebook minutes after the outage read “some internal prototypes were exposed to people and resulted in us disabling the site briefly. It’s now back to normal.”

Facebook is renowned for its stability and the ability to withstand severe pressure on its systems.

We really admire Facebook’s integrity in responding to situations such as these — plenty of technology companies make the mistake of lying to the public or the media after an outage.

It’s so much better to admit to a mistake than fudge a hacking incident that never really happened.

Were you trying to get on Facebook early this morning?

Did you notice sluggish performance on the site once it was back up again?

Let us know if you did.

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