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Facebook goes down and Twitter lights up

Social network crashes during lunch break; users turn to Twitter to vent

Facebook crashed for at least 10 minutes today and then struggled to fully come back online.

When users tried to open or refresh their Facebook pages a little after 12:30 p.m. ET today, they were greeted not with their news feed but with a largely blank screen that simply said, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

The site began to come back online around 12:50 p.m., though some users reported still having trouble loading the site until about 1 p.m.
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Facebook did not return a request for information on what caused the problem.

The web site reported that Facebook, the world’s largest social network, with 1.49 billion monthly active users, was likely suffering a service disruption.

Frustrated users quickly turned to Twitter to complain about the crash, during what would be lunch break time on the East Coast.

At least Little Caesars was quick to take advantage of the situation, tweeting, “With #facebookdown, make sure to KEEP CALM & STAY CHEESY and then step out and grab a $5 HOT-AND-READY LUNCH COMBO. ;-)”

And others just took the opportunity to have fun with it.

“Is everybody ok? Did something happen? Are the zombies attacking? I’m scared!!! #facebookdown,” tweeted @MootePoints.

And UK Banter tweeted, “How am I meant to judge the people I went to school with now? #FacebookDown.”


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Will Facebook envy wreck Twitter?

Twitter has become so obsessed with the users it doesn’t have that it could lose the ones that it does.

There’s never been anything quite like Facebook. As a company, Facebook specializes in collecting, hoarding, keeping and engaging users. As a social network, it dominates the market with the largest user base. Facebook has a monopoly as the social network of choice for friends and families.

As the biggest social network, people often compare Facebook to MySpace. But at its peak in 2008, MySpace maxed out with fewer than 76 million unique monthly visits.

Facebook, we learned this week, boasts just under 1.5 billion monthly unique visitors. Facebook grows so fast in users that it adds more than two additional MySpaces a year to its user base.

Even more impressively, Facebook has 1.8 billion users outside of Facebook itself: 800 million users on WhatsApp, 700 million on Messenger and 300 million on Instagram.

Of course there is a huge and unknown overlap. Still, Facebook’s total active user number is 3.3 billion. That’s a higher number than all the other major social networks combined.

As Facebook proved in its earnings report this week, the opportunities for monetization are enormous. The company has demonstrated that it can make huge revenue in mobile and video ads, and the company is just getting started in those areas. It’s also investing heavily in keeping users glued to Facebook with music and video. They’re getting into commerce. If all that’s not enough, they own Oculus VR, and are likely to be a major force in the coming virtual reality revolution.

The trouble with Twitter
Twitter also announced earnings this week. After the call, the company’s share price dropped to a 52-week low. The reason is that interim CEO Jack Dorsey said the company is lousy at communicating to and thrilling “mainstream” users, and as result, struggles to gain new users. He added that fixing Twitter will take “considerable” time.

Twitter now has 316 million monthly users, up from 308 million in the first quarter. (Twitter is about the size of Instagram, the smallest social network in the Facebook fleet.)

Even more troubling is that Twitter Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto said during the call that “sustained, meaningful growth” can’t happen until Twitter reaches “the mass market.”

The “mass market” is just Twitter code for “Facebook users.”

Twitter has a serious and obvious case of Facebook envy and, perhaps, is suffering from identity crisis. They want what Facebook’s got, and they’re apparently planning to get it by re-creating Twitter in Facebook’s image.

And that might be a huge mistake.

Twitter was the best Twitter

Twitter gained fans by asserting itself as the hyper-minimalist alternative to all other social networks. It’s beauty and power was the 140-character limit on messages. While that’s hard for people trying to have conversations or express complex ideas, it’s great for followers. They could follow a large number of people and news sources without being overwhelmed.

Twitter is the peace-of-mind social network. You can trust Twitter — what you see is what you get. When you follow someone, you get all their tweets — you don’t have to wonder what you were missing. Facebook, on the other hand delivers by default only a tiny minority of the status updates posted by your friends.

When you’re away from Twitter for a few hours, no worries! There’s no anxiety to find out what you missed. Twitter is all about the now.

Every new tweet from every person you follow appears instantly and reliably at the top of your stream. When it appears, you know that “this is the most recent tweet from everyone I follow.” It feels honest. Users feel in control because there is no secret modifications to their streams. Twitter feels good.

Because of all these attributes, Twitter gained extremely influential users. Nearly every journalist, politician, singer, actor, scholar, scientist and public intellectual seems active on Twitter.

Sure, they’re only as big as Instagram. But the “quality” of the Twitter user base from a fame and influence perspective is second to none. And that’s what sets Twitter apart and makes it unique.

Twitter’s got a good thing. But it looks like they’re getting ready to ruin it.

Twitter will be the worst Facebook
The most unsettling comment during Twitter’s call was from Dorsey. He said that in order to appeal to “mainstream” users, Twitter needs to be more like Facebook and stop serving up tweets in reverse-chronological order. This, he said, would be part of a broader “questioning of our fundamentals” and would “balance recency with relevance.”

Twitter’s “Project Lightning” will use human editors and curators to cobble together cherry-picked content from Twitter accounts you’re not following.

Twitter has already started dabbling in the algorithmic arts. When you’re away for awhile, Twitter now serves up a software-determined subset of the tweets you missed based on a variety of invisible “signals.” The new homepage design went into widespread release Thursday and shows “greatest hits” like tweets from users you don’t follow.

They’re also emphasizing pictures, Vines and videos and even auto-playing videos. They’ve gotten rid of the 140-character limit for direct messages. They’ve packed streams with advertising, promotional design elements (for example, constantly suggesting new people to follow), and Periscope invitations.

The mobile version has a “card” interface, which Twitter copied from Facebook and Facebook copied from Google. It’s also got a new “Twitter ads” button for managing advertising. Many external articles now “auto-expand” to show pictures and part of the article right in your feed.

Twitter last month got a new Facebook-like “birthdays” feature, so you can tweet “Happy Birthday” to people without having known what their birthday was. And you’ll feel obligated to do so.

Both Dorsey and Noto spoke urgently about the need to satisfy investors with user growth and monetization, all based on the need to expand beyond the existing loyal user base.

And this expansion involves re-making Twitter in Facebook’s image.
Whether Twitter’s user base grows fast or not, the company intends to deliver better financials to Wall Street. That means each user will be increasingly bombarded with advertising, including video ads.

How Twitter could lose it all
Twitter used to be special. It had a unique purpose, look, feel and functionality. As a result, it gained a unique user base and became the default social network for public people like celebrities, politicians, journalists and activists. It’s been the network of choice for breaking news as well as important world and entertainment events and commentary.

These qualities are what made Twitter better than Facebook in powerful ways. By copying Facebook and abandoning minimalism in favor of Facebook-like clutter, Twitter risks losing both its uniqueness and its special audience.

If that happens, Twitter won’t be better than Facebook in any way. I fear that Twitter has been led astray by both the pressures of going public and by the winner-takes-all culture of Silicon Valley. Every company has to win every user, and at all costs.

The supreme irony in copying Facebook is that, well, it’s not what Facebook would do. If Facebook felt fear of missing users, it would build or buy an external service to gain those users. Facebook would never fundamentally change what it is to chase users.

If Twitter wants to copy Facebook, it should copy Facebook’s approach to defending itself against rivals. Instead of killing the Twitter that we know and love and re-making it in Facebook’s image, Twitter should launch or buy another service and build a separate Facebook.

By transforming Twitter into a Facebook clone, Twitter is essentially saying it doesn’t want to be Twitter anymore. All I can say is: Be careful what you wish for.

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Posted in: Facebook, Twitter

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Is your social media presence hurting your job search?

You hear a lot about what you shouldn’t post on social media, but employers are starting to grow weary of hiring candidates who lack a social presence all together. Take control of your brand by balancing your personal and professional image to attract recruiters.

Social media can make or break your career. We’ve all heard at least one story of an employee getting fired over a Tweet or Facebook post. And when you apply to a job, most hiring managers will first turn to Google to vet your background and qualifications.

Whichever way you swing it, you can’t avoid social media anymore, and how you manage — or don’t manage — your social presence can make or break your job hunt. It’s time to take control of your image and start thinking of social media as personal branding.

Why does it matter?
Managing a Twitter feed and updating your LinkedIn profile might not seem important, but these outlets have become strong elements in recruitment. If you have a lax attitude to your social media accounts, it can hurt you just as much as having no social presence at all.

According to a 2015 survey from CareerBuilder of more than 2,000 employers, “35-percent of employers say they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online.”

You might think keeping your personal profiles set to private is the right thing to do, but many employers are starting to view a lack of public social presence as a red flag.

Take control of your brand
It’s important to be aware of your social presence and to take control of what you put out there. Recruiters aren’t really searching for salacious details about your life; most are looking to confirm that your skills and qualifications make you the best person for the job.

John Jersin, former Google executive and current CEO of Connectifier, says “you should have updated and accurate information everywhere someone might look. It helps you look consistent and organized, but it also gives you an opportunity to briefly emphasize important parts of your resume.”

And don’t forget, just because hiring managers and recruiters might be checking your social profiles, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a look at theirs. Learning more about the company you are working for as well as the hiring manager or recruiter can better prepare you for the interview.

Industry matters
In CareerBuilder’s survey, 76 percent of information technology recruiters and 64 percent of financial services recruiters turned to social media to find and vet potential candidates. Other industries that rely heavily on social media include sales, professional and business services, manufacturing, healthcare and retail. If you work in any of these industries, it’s definitely time to take your social media seriously.

Get Recruited
If you aren’t actively searching for a new job, but are open to interesting positions, maintaining a strong social presence can help recruiters find you. Controlling your personal brand can help ensure that potential job offers come straight to your inbox, rather than finding job listings and applying directly.

You should take note of not only LinkedIn as a strong recruitment platform, but Twitter as well. More recruiters are turning to Twitter to find potential candidates, and it is quickly becoming a resource for job seekers and recruiters.

In a recent study, Twitter was cited as having more job listings than any other platform, and 174 of the companies on the Fortune 500 have a dedicated Twitter account for recruitment. Your Twitter profile might not only help you find an opening with a company, but it might help the company find you.

A little mystery is good
Don’t run off and unlock all of your social media profiles right away. Some things are better left private, such as your Facebook profile or a personal Twitter account.

Dawn Edmiston, clinical associate professor of marketing at the College of William and Mary, says “I would definitely wonder about the background of a tech professional who had zero presence on social media, rather than the individual who has a well-managed LinkedIn and Twitter presence, but prefers that their personal social media such as Facebook remains private.”

The keyword here is “well-managed,” try to draw a line between your professional image and your personal image. Keeping your Facebook account private is probably a smart idea, but you might consider having two separate Twitter accounts – one professional and one personal.

What are they looking for?
The CareerBuilder study also revealed the top five things recruiters are looking for in your social profile, which includes inappropriate photos, alcohol or drug use, negative posts about past employers or coworkers, a lack of communication skills as well as any discriminatory or inflammatory content regarding race, gender, religion, and other issues.

“Forty-eight percent of hiring managers who screen candidates via social networks said they’ve found information that caused them not to hire a candidate — down slightly from 51 percent last year,” according to CareerBuilder.

However, the survey also revealed what type of social content made recruiters move forward with a candidate. This included any background information that supported the candidate’s qualifications, signs that the candidate’s personality would be a good fit for the company, a professional image, strong communication skills, and creativity.

Proving to recruiters that you can maintain professionalism on social media is a good sign that you will carry that over into your working life.

Time to get on board
If you’re waiting to see if social media is a passing phase, you’re going to be left behind. Recruiters using social media to find candidates has gone up 43 percent since last year and 39-percent since 2013, according to CareerBuilder.

“Researching candidates via social media and other online sources has transformed from an emerging trend to a staple of online recruitment,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder.

It’s time to get smart about your social presence and view it as a personal brand, rather than a personal outlet.

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Posted in: Facebook

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Ebola crisis brings out another sickness: Vile scammers

Volunteers who will be sent to Africa in the forthcoming days are taught how to work with patients infected with the Ebola virus during a training session.

Credit: Reuters
Phishing, false advertising, cybercrap pervade as Ebola fraud grows

Sadly we all knew it would happen, once the Ebola situation became international news, the contemptible fraud and scam artists would crawl out from under their rocks to exploit it.

They have not disappointed.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and others this week noted a number of scams in the works:

Consumer Reports published an article referencing a bogus e-mail solicitation offering a $29 “surplus protection kit” supposedly designed for emergency response teams and law enforcement agencies.

The Federal Trade Commission has warned that there are no FDA-approved medical treatments for Ebola and that consumers should file complaints with the FTC and the FDA if they encounter a fraud.

According to USA Today, at least three companies have been issued warnings by the Food and Drug Administration in the past month for selling bogus treatments, solutions, or therapies for Ebola. The FTC and FDA recently sent a warning letter to Natural Solutions Foundation, which sells supplements, putting it on notice that some of its claims around Ebola violate a number of federal laws.

According to a report in Daily Finance, the Better Business Bureau’s New York office has received complaints about fraudulent telephone solicitations involving a charity claiming to raise funds to help Ebola victims. There have also been reports of door-to-door frauds claiming to raise money for a Texas nurse who became infected with the disease.
Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a variety of Ebola-related scams and problematic fundraisers that have emerged recently.
The AARP warned about online offers for an Ebola cure or special “natural” or “dietary” methods to alleviate or prevent symptoms; email scams with alarming messages like “Ebola update” or

“Ebola Pandemic” which may include links that release computer viruses; sales of “personal protection kits” at low prices to provide supposed “infection defense”; charity scams claiming to help victims or fight the disease; and potential stock investment frauds involving companies that say they are involved in the development of products that will prevent the spread of viral diseases like Ebola.

US-CERT reminded users to protect against email scams and cyber campaigns using the Ebola virus disease as a theme. Phishing emails may contain links that direct users to websites which collect personal information such as login credentials, or contain malicious attachments that can infect a system.

The FTC wrote that there are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Ebola. “Although there are experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments under development, these are in the early stages of product development, have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and the supply is very limited. There are no approved vaccines, drugs, or products specifically for Ebola available for purchase online or in stores. No dietary supplements can claim to prevent or cure Ebola, according to the supplements industry. If you’ve seen companies or products touting these claims, report them to the FTC and FDA.”


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Facebook posts can land Americans on watchlists

Concrete evidence of being a suspected terrorist is not necessary before nominating people to watchlists; leaked “guidance” states that uncorroborated posts on social networking sites are sufficient grounds for the government to add people to watchlist databases.

As we’ve seen in the past, there’s nothing reasonable about supposedly suspicious activities as numerous you-might-be-a-terrorist-if lists are often filled with harmless behaviors. You know there are “hot” keywords monitored by government agencies and that anything you might say on social media could come back and bite you at a later date; those facts were again highlighted in the 166-page document issued by the National Counterterrorism Center to give “watchlisting guidance.”

Although this guidance includes advice on determining whether or not there is reasonable suspicion that someone is a terrorist and should be nominated to watchlists, the more worrying aspects involve getting around reasonable suspicion. According to “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance” published by The Intercept:

In determining whether a reasonable suspicion exists, due weight should be given to the specific reasonable inferences that a nominator is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his/her experience and not on unfounded suspicions or hunches. Although irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary, to be reasonable, suspicion should be as clear and as fully developed as circumstances permit.

Americans are protected by the First Amendment; the guidelines do say that constitutionally-protected activities cannot be the basis for nominating a person to be added to watchlists, yet how many times has that proven to be untrue? Way before Snowden spilled the beans on NSA surveillance, back in 2010, the ACLU reported that FBI spying on free speech was nearly at Cold War levels.

It has been said that law enforcement considers not having a Facebook account to be suspicious, but it turns out that if someone were to setup a fake Facebook account pretending to be a specific person, the government doesn’t even need to confirm account ownership before flagging that person to be added to a watch list.

While the guidelines nominally prohibit nominations based on unreliable information, they explicitly regard “uncorroborated” Facebook or Twitter posts as sufficient grounds for putting an individual on one of the watchlists. “Single source information,” the guidelines state, “including but not limited to ‘walk-in,’ ‘write-in,’ or postings on social media sites, however, should not automatically be discounted … the NOMINATING AGENCY should evaluate the credibility of the source, as well as the nature and specificity of the information, and nominate even if that source is uncorroborated.”

It’s left to the nominator’s discretion to determine what is or is not suspicious. As we’ve seen in the past, sometimes being concerned about privacy or security is considered a “suspicious activity.” Below is a portion from a Communities Against Terrorism flyer designed by the FBI and the DOJ to promote suspicious activity reporting at Internet Cafes.
Privacy and security as suspicious activities

If a person on a watchlist were to travel, then airport or border officials are told what type of information should be targeted for collection during such encounters. Nominators are encouraged to include miscellaneous item information such as from “social networking accounts (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, ICQ), titles of books, DVD/CD, brochures being carried and their condition such as new, dog-eared, annotated, unopened, professional journals.”

Examples of electronic media/devices that are also to be observed or copied include “cellphone list and speed dial numbers, laptop images, GPS, thumb drives, disks, iPod or MP3, PDAs, Kindle or iPad (electronic books), cameras, video and/or voice recorders, pagers and any electronic storage media.”

Let’s say government officials snagged and copied a watchlisted individual’s cellphone. If you were listed in that person’s contacts, then that could be enough “reasonable suspicion” to add your name to a watchlist. “Because you appear on a telephone list of somebody doesn’t make you a terrorist. That’s the kind of information that gets put in there,” explained former FBI special agent David Gomez. “If reasonable suspicion is the only standard you need to label somebody, then it’s a slippery slope we’re sliding down here, because then you can label anybody anything.”

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Is the world ready for Facebook Timeline?

commentary In 1952, a TV host and producer named Ralph Edwards created a show that married the intoxicating power of nostalgia with the immediacy of television.
The idea was simple: celebrities and the occasional ordinary citizen would be surprised with the story of their own life, told through the words of a few influential people they met along the way. Their past was resurfaced, warts and all, to a studio audience and millions of viewers.
The result was sentimental, awkward, moving, heartbreaking, invasive, and hilarious depending on your perspective and the particular episode. “This is Your Life” was a new way of harnessing television and the past to package up lives into bite-size entertainment.
The world, or at least its 800 million Facebook users, is about to have its “This is Your Life” moment.

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It’s a wonderful life

Facebook Timeline, a complete overhaul of personal profiles that is being rolled out in the coming weeks, is built around a similarly simple and powerful idea: what if you could see your whole life in one place?
Timeline is a way of visualizing your life (or rather your life as it has been lived on Facebook). You can easily scroll through and see the friends you made, the photos you uploaded, your relationship statuses, and even your illnesses and surgeries–if you choose to share them. You can see highlights from a particular year or bore down to individual months and days.
It’s a beautiful–and beautifully designed–vision, and it makes me wish my grandparents had magically used Facebook their entire lives so I could go back and scroll through their Timelines to learn more about them now that they’re gone. I could easily see photos of when my parents were born, what my hometown looked like 50 years ago, and what it was like to be a fledgling beekeeper in Eastern Oregon during the Great Depression.
If Facebook’s vision comes to pass, Timeline could be a visual catalog of every life ever lived, from the ordinary to the extraordinary. We could see the benchmarks in our friends’ lives, watch people age, see their old prom and wedding photos and the birth of their children.
In the words of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, “It’s all here, it’s your whole life.”
Better than you know yourself

And if the idea of having your entire life online and easily scrollable sends chills down your spine…well, quite frankly Zuckerberg should be forgiven for not believing you.
Facebook has become a world-changing force by ignoring what people claimed they would be uncomfortable sharing online. Most famously, in 2006 users yelped at the introduction of the News Feed, which surfaced your activities on Facebook to your friends. People called it “creepy” and “invasive” and “social stalking.” The uproar forced Zuckerberg to issue a mea culpa.
Now the News Feed is such a part of everyday life even my mom posted a horrified message when Facebook merely changed the way it displayed status updates.
To be sure, Facebook has allayed some concerns over the years by enabling and simplifying privacy options (if belatedly and occasionally haphazardly), but make no mistake: Facebook thinks you actually want to share more than you say you want to share. What seemed creepy five years ago now seems mundane.
And this month Zuckerberg is upping the ante by betting that you really do want your entire life on Facebook. That you’ll get over your initial squeamishness when you see the fun of scrolling through your various hairstyles and the important milestones in your life. That no social network has gone broke overestimating what the public actually wants to share.
Is he right?

We’ll always (and I mean always) have Paris
If you happen to be a 27-year-old self-made billionaire who has never gone through a breakup during the time he was on Facebook, as seems to be the case with Mark Zuckerberg, it may not be so horrifying to have your past surfaced to all your friends.
But what about those of us who haven’t lived neat and tidy lives that lend themselves to Timeline and instead have gone through breakups or divorces during the Facebook era, or merely posted embarrassing status updates that we’d like to forget?
Right now, those old updates and relationships are mostly buried. It’s difficult if not impossible to go hunting for the early days on Facebook that you have now long forgotten about, and many of us breathe a sigh of relief that that’s the case.
Soon, unless you go back and delete or change the visibility settings for all those old posts (and Facebook will reportedly give you a grace period to do just that), your new significant other will be able to see exactly how great a time you had with your ex in Hawaii in 2007.
And more seriously, there are loved ones who have passed and dark times we don’t want to revisit and embarrassing things that we’d much rather stay hidden.
What if you want the past to stay in the past?
Your life, online
Timeline is a bet that the same formula that made “This is Your Life” a success in the ’50s holds true today: we’ll suffer through the occasional embarrassment and be willing, even happy participants in the erosion of our own privacy as long as the entertainment value is sufficient.
And make no mistake: Timeline is terrifically entertaining. In fact, Facebook is hoping that it’s so entertaining you’ll spend hours filling in all those gaps from your pre-Facebook life and provide still more information about yourself than what is automatically surfaced.
But a certain “ick” factor absolutely remains, and this is uncharted territory for many people. Between Timeline and new Open Graph apps like Spotify, which, if enabled, allows your friends to see what music you’re listening to in real time, we’ll soon find out precisely how tolerant we are of living our lives in semi-public view and exactly how much we’re comfortable with our friends (and Facebook) knowing about us.
World, this is your life. Are you ready?

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Google, Facebook promise new IPv6 services after successful trial

Google leaves IPv6 on for YouTube; Facebook adds IPv6 to developers’ site; Yahoo sees ‘minimal risk’ to IPv6

Yahoo said it only had to make one minor adjustment to its website for traffic optimization as a result of World IPv6 Day.

“Yahoo is very excited about how smoothly World IPv6 Day went for everybody. It’s a great testament to the preparation that went into this event,” said Jason Fesler, an IPv6 architect at Yahoo. “The early data says there is minimal risk to pushing forward.”


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BACKGROUND: World IPv6 Day: Tech industry’s most-watched event since Y2K

Akamai and Limelight also said they were stepping up their efforts toward full, commercial-grade support of IPv6 due to the success of World IPv6 Day.

“We’re going to look at the data for IPv6 usage and use that to improve our services,” said Andy Champagne, director of engineering at Akamai, which had 30 customers participate in World IPv6 Day using its beta IPv6 service. “Then we are going to work with our customers to roll out IPv6.”

Tom Coffeen, director of global network architecture for Limelight, said it had IPv6-enabled every server on its network for World IPv6 Day and that it had encountered only minor issues that involved some routing policy changes.

“We were surprised and pleased to see no bugs. The few issues we did encounter were quickly resolved,” Coffeen said. “We had many customers choosing to stay IPv6-enabled going forward. We’re ready to move to an opt-out model for our customers, where they have to request no IPv6 availability.”

Despite these successes, World IPv6 Day participants conceded that IPv6 still has a long way to go before it approaches the ubiquity of IPv4.

Colitti said Google estimates that only 0.3% of its users have adopted IPv6. He said it was too early to determine how many of its users suffered from broken IPv6 connections; estimates prior to World IPv6 Day put IPv6 brokenness at 0.03% to 0.05% of Internet users.

Similarly, Lee said that Facebook estimates that about 0.2% of its users were able to reach the website via IPv6.

“Once the world gets to about 1% adoption [of IPv6], then this will be for real,” Lee said. “That’s the initial mass that you need to have for global adoption.”

MORE: What if IPv6 simply fails to catch on?

Content providers are migrating to IPv6 because the Internet is running out of addresses using IPv4. The free pool of unassigned IPv4 addresses expired in February, and in April the Asia Pacific region ran out of all but a few IPv4 addresses being held in reserve for startups. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), which doles out IP addresses to network operators in North America, says it will deplete its supply of IPv4 addresses this fall.

IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses and can support 4.3 billion devices connected directly to the Internet, but IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses and can connect up a virtually unlimited number of devices: 2 to the 128th power. IPv6 offers the promise of faster, less-costly Internet services than the alternative, which is to extend the life of IPv4 using network address translation (NAT) devices.

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