Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Undisclosed ‘issue’ foils Facebook updates

AFP, WASHINGTON and SAN FRANCISCO

Facebook Inc suffered an undisclosed “issue” on Monday that prevented some of its 1.15 billion worldwide members from posting status updates and other material on the social media Web site.

“Earlier this morning, while performing some network maintenance, we experienced an issue that prevented some users from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time,” a Facebook spokesman told reporters by e-mail.

“We resolved the issue quickly and we are now back to 100 percent. We’re sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused,” he wrote.

Users who tried to post on Facebook had been met with an error message that stated: “There was a problem updating your status. Please try again in a few minutes.”

Tech Web site Mashable.com reported: “Facebook status update issues are not uncommon, but this one seems global — we’ve tested it from several IPs and received the same message.”

Downrightnow.com, which monitors service outages on major Web sites, said Facebook had encountered a “likely service disruption.” It also said user reports of difficulties were still coming in three hours after the problem emerged.

Separately, Facebook sought to entice media outlets to post more news stories at the leading social network on Monday, helping pinpoint promising pieces — a tactic aimed at combating Twitter.

A “Stories to Share” feature added to Facebook pages of news organizations was designed to find engaging stories and let them be shared, according to vice president of media partnerships Justin Osofsky.

“For instance, TIME [magazine] can see suggestions of stories they have published to TIME.com, but they have not yet shared to their Facebook fans,” Osofsky said in a blog post. “They can now easily post any of those suggestions to their page.”

The new software has Facebook elbowing further into Twitter territory as an online venue for real-time insight into breaking news.

A week-long trial with 29 media sites showed that teasing stories or links at Facebook pages raised the amount of traffic to news Web sites by nearly 90 percent, according to Osofsky.

“Over the past few months, we’ve worked particularly closely with news and publishing sites to understand how we can help drive more readers to their sites,” he said.

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