Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram Users Suffer Brief Outage

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Thousands of users around the world affected by brief outage of Facebook owned social services

Users around the world were impacted last night by a brief outage of major social networking services including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

According to DownDetector.com, regions across the United States, Europe, and northern Africa began experiencing problems with the apps from 9.30pm GMT on Monday evening. The outages were mostly resolved by 2am GMT.

And this is not the first time that Facebook has suffered outages. In January 2015 for example, Facebook blamed a technical fault, and not hackers, for an outage that downed its own site and those of several services it owns.

Networking issue

But on Monday users began experiencing problems accessing Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, as well as Instagram.

Some users experienced signing in, posting, commenting and updating their newsfeeds on Facebook.

For others Facebook messenger would not load, and Instagram users were left unable to access recent posts or messages.

WhatsApp users experienced problems connecting to the service or sending and receiving messages.

DownDetector.com said that 38 percent of Facebook users suffered a total blackout.

So what went wrong? Facebook on Monday blamed a technical problem.

“Earlier today, a networking issue caused some people to have trouble accessing or posting to various Facebook services,” Facebook spokesman Jay Nancarrow told Reuters. “We quickly investigated and started restoring access, and we have nearly fixed the issue for everyone. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

Previous outages

Whilst outages of major services like this are rare, they do happen occasionally.

In November 2017 WhatsApp suffered a major outage after a problem prevented millions of people across the world from using the app.

WhatsApp also suffered another outage in May 2017, when a problem left people in many parts of the world unable to send or receive messages.

Facebook of course owns the services that were at the centre of the outages. It purchased photo-sharing service Instagram in 2012, in a deal originally valued at $1 billion (£779m).

A couple of years later Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19bn (£11.4bn) in 2014.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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