WhatsApp outage shuts down an entire economy of informal work

On October 4, all Facebook services stopped working for six hours. This suspension has included both the Facebook platform itself, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Although users have lost the ability to communicate and have fun, others have lost part of their income and livelihood.

It happened in Brazil, where Luisa Ferreira, a home cleaning services provider, was unable to contact her clients to confirm daily work bookings when WhatsApp was down for six hours.

Ferreira, and thousands of others, depend onApplication In communicating with customers and arranging matters of work with them, given that Brazil relies entirely on the services of Facebook and WhatsApp for communication. Especially since the companies providing telecom services in the country do not offer competitive advantages that make citizens rely on SMS.

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Lisa told The Verge, explaining that the suspension of the application prevented her from arranging appointments with customers for the next two days, according to previous agreements between them and them. So I lost two whole days of income. It also described the event as “loss of income that cannot be compensated or restored”.

It tried to communicate with customers via SMS messages, but it faced the problem of the high cost on the one hand, and the problem of customers not responding to it, because the application is mainly based on the application.

Read also: Facebook introduces encrypted WhatsApp backups

The impact of WhatsApp on informal business

Brazilian citizens rely mainly on WhatsApp. and Facebook services in general. As nearly 60% of citizens have active accounts on the two services. So Ferreira was not the only one affected by the event.

Professor Rafael Grohmann has pointed out that Brazil lacks an attractive infrastructure for traditional telecommunications services. This prompted users to rely on free services.

Read also: Facebook services are back after a six-hour outage

Workers informally rely on WhatsApp to coordinate their work, avoiding specialized platforms. This is because the platforms that connect service providers and their buyers cut rates of up to 20% of workers’ revenues. Therefore, the two parties rely on informal communication via WhatsApp.

During the outage, Bruno Torres, who works as a salesman for children’s clothing, was badly affected. He estimated his losses at $500 for the period following the outage because he relied on WhatsApp to send offers to customers and offer them new clothes.

Because of the outage, customers started calling the work phone number, so Torres received dozens of calls at the same time, making him unable to answer them. For Torres, WhatsApp is a free tool used to communicate with customers at the same time to maximize its profits.

Read also: WhatsApp Payments Gives Rewards When You Send Money

WhatsApp plays a major role for workers who cannot read or write, as they rely on voice messages to communicate with customers rather than text communication. Perhaps the citizens of Brazil, and especially the workers, may consider relying on a side method as a backup in case of any emergency.

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