WhatApp, owned by Meta Platforms, has suffered an outage that has impacted users around the world, including the UK, Asia, South Africa and Europe.

Outage tracking website Downdector recorded users starting to complain of outages from just before 8am BST on Tuesday 25 October, with more than 12,000 problem reports filed to the website by 8.30am.

The last time there was this level of outage was back in October 2021, when Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram experiencing an outage that lasted for at least six hours. Facebook later said the global problem was caused by a configuration change.

WhatsApp outage

This week’s problem saw users opening the app, but finding that while they could still access their conversations, they were not receiving new messages, or able to send any new messages.

Many users saw the following message at the top of the app, saying it is “connecting” to the server, but it then fails to do so.

“We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible,” a WhatsApp spokesperson was quoted by the Guardian newspaper as saying.

The good news is that the outage seems to have been resolved.

The outage lasted for more than an hour, after users in the UK, India and Asia reporting that their WhatsApp was working after 9am BST.

So far, there is no official explanation as to the cause.

WhatsApp of course is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the UK, and indeed around the world.

It is estimated to have more than 2 billion active users globally.

WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption for messages, and it often serves as a critical means of communicating for millions people, businesses, and households. It has even previously been used by British government officials.

Previous outages

Serious global outages impacting major technology platforms don’t happen all that often, but they occur more than people think.

In March 2021 for example, Facebook fixed a technical issue that caused worldwide outages for some of its services, after more than one million people globally reported problems with the company’s Instagram photo-sharing service.

In December 2020 Facebook suffered a major outage that affected Messenger and Instagram direct messages.

But 2019 was a bit of torrid year for Facebook, when one of Facebook’s longest outages took place in March 2019, with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp going offline for more than 24 hours.

Then in April 2019 Facebook suffered a three hour outage, that also impacted Facebook’s WhatsApp and Instagram services.

Facebook and Instagram were also hit by major outages over Thanksgiving in 2019.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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