Facebook down. Panic in the streets.

Facebook had some major downtime yesterday, with the majority of its users unable to access the site for about an hour from 11:30am Pacific Time (that’s about 7:30pm for us UK types). @TheDollSays said on Twitter that FB users were roaming the streets in tears.

A bit of an exaggeration, but there’s no doubt that people can feel very reliant on Facebook, and very cut off if it’s suddenly unavailable. It’s their first point of call for pinging friends, arranging nights out, and catching up on gossip.

The story was major news too. It wasn’t only covered by the usual tech news sites (CNet, The Register), but also by the mainstream news channels. It made the front page of the BBC news site.

Are we getting worked up about nothing? Or is Facebook now an essential social tool, that we’re stuck without, like mobile phones?