Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp recovering after worst outage in their history

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp recovering after worst outage in their history

Facebook and Instagram are recovering from a mysterious outage yesterday which left users unable to access their services. Users also encountered problems with messaging app WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, as well as Facebook's first messaging app, Messenger.

Given that the problems only affected sites and apps owned by the Facebook group, there was wide speculation that the outage was caused by a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS). A DDoS attack is where a website is hit with such a large amount of traffic that its servers cannot cope, and is used as a malicious tool to make sites unavailable. However, Facebook has denied that they were the target of such an attack.

The problems appeared to start yesterday afternoon, and continued well in to the night. During this time, most users found that they could not make posts on either Facebook or Instagram even if they were able to view them.

Instagram was back online early this morning, but many people are still encountering problems with the platform.

For many people, not being able to access social media can be a minor inconvenience. However, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are a crucial tool for many businesses nowadays, and such a prolonged outage can have real consequences. It is a sad but none-the-less real testament to just how important social media has become.

The issues were all related to companies owned by Facebook, Inc. and other social media sites such as Twitter were unaffected. Well, apart from an increase in users wondering what was going on, that is. According to information from Down Detector, both Instagram and Facebook are still suffering widespread outages (click the links for maps of affected areas).

The outage has come at a problematic time for Facebook, with representatives of the UK and USA governments speaking out against the company. In the UK, MPs have suggested that large tech companies such as Facebook should be regulated, and in the US senator Elizabeth Warren has criticised the power wielded by Facebook and Amazon, suggesting that they should be broken up.

Becky Cunningham
First release
Last update

More resources from Becky