Facebook, Instagram Login Restored After Widespread Outage

Meta Platforms has resorted an outage that severely impacted its platforms including Facebook, Messenger, Threads and Instagram.

The outage took place on Tuesday and were first reported at approximately 3.30pm GMT, and lasted over an hour before being resolved around 5pm Tuesday 5 March 2024.

Meta’s head of communications Andy Stone, whose arrest is currently being sought by the Putin regime in Moscow, apologised for the outage and blamed a “technical issue” in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Technical issue

“Earlier today, a technical issue caused people to have difficulty accessing some of our services,” he tweeted. “We resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was impacted, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

Thousands of users reported being locked out of their Facebook accounts and feeds on the platform as well as Threads and Instagram were not refreshing.

Strangely, WhatsApp (which is also owned by Meta) was not impacted by the outage.

The outage comes just ahead of Thursday’s deadline for Big Tech companies to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).

In order to comply with this European legislation, Meta is making changes such as permitting users to separate their Facebook and Instagram accounts, in order that their personal information cannot be combined for online advertising purposes.

It is not clear at the time of writing, if these changes were connected with the “technical issue” outage.

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.

In October 2022 Meta’s WhatsApp suffered an outage that impacted millions of users around the world.

Backend issue

A possible explanation of the “technical issue” was offered by the ThousandEyes Internet Intelligence team.

“On March 5th starting at approximately 15:00 UTC (7 AM PST), Meta services, including Facebook, Instagram, and others experienced a disruption preventing users from accessing those apps,” it stated.

“ThousandEyes can confirm that Meta’s web servers remain reachable, with network paths clear and web servers responding to users,” it added. “However, users attempting to login are receiving error messages, suggesting a backend service, such as authentication, as the cause of the issue. The incident is still ongoing as of 16:20 UTC (8:20 AM PST).”

The issue was resolved not long after that.

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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