Social networking site Facebook was offline for half an hour yesterday due to an error by a software engineer at the company as reported by the BBC. The engineer accidentally put internal prototype pages online, including a revamped photos section and new page management features, and the entire website had to be taken offline while the mess was cleaned up.
In a statement on its blog, Facebook said "For a brief period of time, some internal prototypes were made public to a number of people externally." read the message. "As a result, we took the site down for a few minutes. It's back up, and we apologise for the inconvenience."
Some people got a brief look at the new features, which are not yet ready for launch. One is called "memories" and indexes what people do on Facebook chronologically.
ReadWriteWeb published a list of five things that people could do during the outage, such as using instant messaging instead, using the telephone to call people or reading a book.
On Twitter, one widely circulated tweet said "Facebook is down. Half the world population had suddenly become productive. The other half of the population is using Twitter."
This is a mildly embarrasing accident for Facebook but it won't do any more harm than leaving one of the company's engineers feeling a bit sheepish for a few days, and it's one of the hazards that comes with running and maintaining such a large website.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.