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Facebook suffers brief, widespread outage

Jonathan Nackstrand | AFP | Getty Images

The social media giant suddenly went dark for many desktop and mobile users Wednesday afternoon.

"Earlier today we encountered an error while making an infrastructure configuration change that briefly made it difficult for people to access Facebook. We immediately discovered the issue and fixed it, and everyone should now be able to connect," a spokesman said in a statement.

The status page for Facebook developers did not show any anomalies, though the data appeared to have been last updated prior to the outage.

After roughly 20 minutes the site was back up for most people. The site also suffered notable outages in early August and mid-June.

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In its most recent quarter, Facebook reported revenue of $2.91 billion. That works out to $22,453.70 of revenue per minute — implying a 20-minute outage could cost the company nearly half a million dollars.

Facebook shares fell 1.1 percent, though they were lower before the outage. (What's the stock doing now? Click here)

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The viral reaction to Facebook's outage was almost instant on Twitter, as a number of brands tried to capitalize on the news in their favor.