In a massive display of the co-dependent relationship between Facebook and many of your favorite websites, a glitch in the ubiquitous “Like” button caused several major websites to go out of service on Thursday afternoon. CNN, Yelp, Buzzfeed, and ESPN were among the sites that flashed an error page instead of their usual content.
The 3-D image above helps visualize the complexity of Facebook Connect, the software that collects all those likes from across the Web. The layers in this image represent, among other things, the number of elements required to render each portion of a web page. As you can see, the share buttons–and Facebook’s in particular–are skyscrapers compared to the headline text and video on this CNN page. (This 3-D visualization, called Tilt, is one of the developer tools that come with the Firefox browser.)
The outage didn’t last long, and everything is back to normal now. Here’s a video showing the error, courtesy of AllThingsD.