The Day Facebook Died, and Why it Doesn't Matter for Investors

Screenshot depicting trouble with Facebook's programming interface yesterday. Photo credit: Tim Beyers/The Motley Fool.

Monday was a tough day for Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  ) techies, who spent hours battling errors that have since been resolved. The good news? Investors barely noticed as the stock fell less than 1% on a flat day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

There are two good reason for this, I think.

First, Facebook didn't look like it was having trouble. Navigating to the site yesterday morning still revealed a news feed. I may not have been able to post anything, but on the face of it, Facebook all looked normal. Engadget, Mashable, and others confirmed this was the situation for users.

Second, brief outages have become normal operating procedure in the cloud. Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) has experienced several recently,  including two days of Gmail slowdowns last month. Yet there's no sign that these disturbances did anything to keep marketers from placing ads or searchers from viewing them.

Over at Facebook, they key issues yesterday appear to have been with Wall posting (you couldn't make one) and Payments (ditto). Why? We don't know, but remember that Payments is a new product. Testing it across the network may have caused systemic errors.

Here again, I see similarities with Google's recent outages. The search king last month rolled out significant updates to the Android and iOS versions of Google Drive, its productivity app control center. The problems that followed were likely nothing more than growing pains for an online platform that's winning more converts each day. Just this morning, Google announced a pilot program with the U.S. Army division that supports infrastructure and information management.

The message? Outages aren't the disaster they used to be, and they likely never will be again. That's just another reason I think investors can be comfortable investing in Facebook, Google, and related cloud-computing stocks.

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