Although several parts of the world are already settled in to next year, with the turnover in each country rolling across time zones, many have yet to hit the milestone- and storm social networks, ringing in the new year.
In recent years, the service and similar sites like Twitter have seen massive surges of traffic for certain events, such as Halloween and the death of Osama bin Laden- the largest traffic peak of 2011 thus far. But New Year’s Eve presents a particular challenge due to concentrated spikes in each time zone. Mercury News explains:
…holidays such as New Year’s Eve unleash a tsunami of traffic, as people use their smartphones to share photos and post holiday greetings to their friends. Facebook received more than a billion photo uploads for the first time on Halloween night 2010 and the following day. The Menlo Park social network now has at least 200 million more members than it had last Halloween, which means it could top that total for New Year’s Eve 2011, said Jay Parikh, Facebook’s director of engineering.
Facebook’s director of engineering, Jay Parikh, assures users that the service has built-in safeties to “sort of degrade gracefully when and if a problem happens, so we don’t just go offline and the whole thing disappears.” Have you run in to Facebook outages at peak times?