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How the Facebook and Instagram outages impacted small business owners

With Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp down for most of the day, online entrepreneurs say that made connecting to customers much more difficult.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hours without the tools of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp could have meant time spent missing out on money for many small business owners who rely on these online platforms to make their business boom.

Lauren Formoso is the owner of Crumbled Nut Bakeshop. She doesn't have a brick-and-mortar business but instead sells her sweet treats at markets and other events that she connects with customers and shares via Facebook and Instagram.

“Advertising myself, business -- advertising events that I’ll be at," Formoso said. "Letting customers know what products I’ll be bringing."

With the help of social media, she said she can continuously reach more than 2,000 of her Instagram followers as compared to the couple dozen customers on her email list. As a result, that continuous connection online helps bring more business.

“Out of sight, out of mind," Formoso said. "If people aren’t seeing things they won’t be thinking about it. It won’t be on their radar.”

RELATED: Facebook and Instagram back online after hours-long global outage

Cyber experts say the failed online connection was not the result of hackers, but instead user error using BGP -- also known as border gateway protocol.

“What happened on the FB side someone went in and updated the BGP routes which I don’t know if it was incorrect or what happened there, but it caused them to go down cause there was no routing," CEO of TCM Security Heath Adams said.

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Facebook claims 'faulty configuration change' caused hours-long outage

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