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Social network downtime Jan-Apr 2008

This survey shows how much 16 of the largest and most popular social network sites have been unavailable during the first four months of 2008. How much has MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Twitter, LiveJournal and many others been offline? Read on to find out.

The monitoring for this survey was done using the Pingdom uptime monitoring service.

We have included two tables, one with a summary of the downtime and uptime for the entire period, and another one which breaks down these numbers month by month.

Downtime summary, January through April

This table is sorted so that the highest downtime is at the top. In other words, it is one of the few lists where it is a good thing to be near the bottom.

Social network site downtime, Jan 1 – April 30, 2008
Social Network Home page (monitored) Downtime Uptime %
Twitter 37h 16m 98.72% 18h 55m 99.35%
Pownce * 13h 20m 99.44%
Bebo 14h 13m 99.51%
hi5 12h 59m 99.55%
Windows Live Spaces 9h 40m 99.67%
LinkedIn 7h 40m 99.74%
Friendster 6h 50m 99.76% 6h 10m 99.79%
Orkut 3h 0m 99.90%
Facebook 2h 29m 99.91% 2h 20m 99.92%
Yahoo! 360 1h 40m 99.94%
LiveJournal 1h 25m 99.95%
Xanga 1h 25m 99.95%
MySpace 1h 5m 99.96%

* Pownce has only been monitored since January 22, when the site went public.

MySpace comes out on top, at least when it comes to website availability. Their website has only been unavailable for little over an hour so far this year. At the other end of the spectrum we find the Twitter website, which has been unavailable for more than 37 hours (a day and a half).

Orkut, Facebook,, Yahoo! 360, LiveJournal, Xanga and MySpace all have a 99.9% uptime or better so far in 2008, which has to be considered very good.

We also added Pownce for monitoring on January 22, when the site went public. Pownce is Kevin Rose’s post-Digg social networking site. (The other founders are Leah Culver, Daniel Burka and Shawn Allen.)

Downtime month by month

Since we thought it would also be interesting to have a look at the downtime numbers on a monthly basis, we have included a table for that as well. We have sorted the sites just as above, so the largest total downtime is at the top.

Social network site monthly downtime, Jan – Apr, 2008
Social Network Home page (monitored) January February March April
Twitter 13h 37m 13h 17m 3h 12m 7h 10m 2h 0m 55m 13h 20m 2h 40m
Pownce * 2h 15m 4h 5m 4h 50m 2h 10m
Bebo 5h 20m 7h 13m 45m 55m
hi5 2h 49m 2h 15m 1h 5m 6h 50m
Windows Live Spaces 25m 7h 0m 5m 2h 10m
LinkedIn 2h 35m 3h 35m 55m 35m
Friendster 6h 0m 0m 35m 15m 1h 10m 0m 1h 5m 3h 55m
Orkut 55m 1h 25m 5m 35m
Facebook 1h 24m 10m 35m 20m 50m 1h 15m 15m 0m
Yahoo! 360 5m 0m 25m 1h 10m
LiveJournal 5m 5m 35m 40m
Xanga 10m 35m 25m 15m
MySpace 20m 5m 20m 20m

* Pownce has only been monitored since January 22.

This monthly view shows us that the majority of Twitter’s website problems were in January and February (it still had more than seven hours of downtime in April, though). Of course, Twitter also relies heavily on the use of SMS, but we did not monitor that aspect, only that the website responded (just as we did for all the other sites in this survey).

Friendster had the vast majority of its downtime in January, and has since then been very stable.

Bebo has, after a rocky January and February, stabilized their site significantly. AOL announced a deal with Bebo in March that it will acquire the social network for $850 million.

As we have mentioned in the past, all websites have downtime sooner or later. Social networks, by their very nature, will have a lot of visitors who return to the site frequently, and a lot of page views per visitor, so any downtime they have tends to be highly visible to their users. With many of these social networks counting their user base in the millions, it is a significant technical challenge for these sites to keep downtime to a minimum.

A note about the monitoring: All monitoring was done using Pingdom’s uptime monitoring service. If a web page is not reachable, returns an error, or takes longer than 30 seconds to load, it is considered as down. Downtime is always confirmed from two geographically separate locations.

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