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February 19, 2009
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MySpace and Facebook suffered less downtime than most other social networking sites in 2008, according to a report released this week.
Pingdom, which monitors Web sites around the world for reliability, released a report (PDF) on outages and downtime for 15 of the world's most popular social networks Tuesday. The report found big differences in time the sites suffered outages.
Facebook, MySpace, Classmates.com, Xanga, and Imeem were the only sites to remain available 99.9% of the time in 2008, according to the report. Friendster suffered one of the longest outages when it was down more than 23 hours over the course of three days in November because of a data center problem. The distinction of the longest continuous outage went to Reunion.com for a nearly 10-hour outage on March 29.
Twitter suffered more downtime than any of the other social networking sites, but its performance improved during the second half of the year, Pingdom said. Eighty-four percent of the site's downtime occurred in the first half of the year. On the other hand, LinkedIn's downtime increased as the year wore on, with 63% of its downtime occurring during the second half of 2008, according to the report.
Brief outages of five to 30 minutes are common, but one-third of the social networking sites suffered more than a day and a half of downtime last year. One-third had less than eight hours of downtime.
Pingdom said that downtime can often be attributed to problems with scalability stemming from increasing numbers of users and switching to different service providers. The report said it's important to address downtime because it harms social networking sites' reputations, user retention, and third-party incomes.
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