When the Internet fails

Today, both Foursquare and HootSuite experienced technical difficulties for an extended period of time.

For a period of about two hours, Foursquare servers were down, making checking in to different venues and even accessing the website impossible.

As of right now (4:30 p.m.) Hootsuite is still down, making it impossible for people and businesses to schedule social media updates.

foursquare is down
Upset Foursquare user
hootsuite construction owl
"We are having troubles," -HootSuite team

All this technology failure brings up one serious question: should a business trust third party applications?

Tools like Twitter, Facebook, Skype, HootSuite, Dropbox, and Foursquare are practically essential to a businesses marketing strategy these days, but what happens when they are down? Business doesn’t stop when servers go down, so why should you rely on these tools?

The truth is that there isn’t much you can do. You need a platform for spreading information and news about your company, and that comes with a certain amount of risk.

The good news is that the tools that we use on a daily basis are getting much more efficient and if there are technical difficulties they can usually be resolved in short order.

My advice is to have many networks to work with, in the case that one of them should fail. For example, since HootSuite was down today, you could use TweetDeck to schedule your social posts.

Consider how much you and your company rely on social networks and always have a backup plan.