What happens when Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp go down for a day? According to some data, traffic to other destinations on the open web jumped by 21%. Thats what an analysis conducted by Taboola of 9,000 digital publishers representing 500 million daily unique users shows.
The graph depicted here shows average daily traffic on the open web (brownish yellow) versus what happened on October 4 (grayish-green).
While it wasn't exactly clear from the data what specific destinations people turned to -- theories have ranged from Twitter to porn -- a Taboola spokesperson noted: "This huge increase highlights the direct traffic – usually trapped within a walled garden – which publishers benefit from when readers don’t access Facebook."
“The adult entertainment space is ripping right now,” said Peter Williams, vice president of Dreamcam, a VR live camming platform for the adult entertainment industry, adding: "We're seeing traffic and time on site numbers like never before, which can only be attributable to the social networks' outages. People are either bored without Facebook and Instagram content to peruse and are looking for something to do. Or, for some who pleasure themselves to sexy Instagram posts, they are looking for other content to do 'use.' It's quite fascinating to watch this unfold.”
Through 4pm (ET) Monday, Dreamcam's site traffic was up 240% vs. the same period a day earlier. Average time on the site was up 49%, and new users increased by 26%.