Facebook’s apps and services, including Instagram and WhatsApp, are coming back online six hours after an outage.
The platforms crashed earlier on Monday as users were unable to send or receive messages or refresh their news feeds.
Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer had blamed the outage on “network issues,” but just before midnight he confirmed: “Facebook services are coming back online now – it may take a while before reach 100%. To all small and large businesses, families and individuals who depend on us, I’m sorry. “
In a post on Facebook after the service was restored, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote: “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today – I know how much you rely on our services for stay connected with the people you care about. “
* Sincere * apologies to all who are currently affected by the outages in Facebook services. We are having network issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as quickly as possible
– Mike Schroepfer (@schrep) October 4, 2021
Facebook services are coming back online now – it may take a while to reach 100%. To all the small and large businesses, families and individuals who depend on us, I am sorry.
– Mike Schroepfer (@schrep) October 4, 2021
Facebook Engineering wrote on Twitter (which was unaffected by the outage): “To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: We’re sorry.
“We have worked hard to restore access to our applications and services and are happy to announce that they are coming back online now. Thank you for your patience.”
According to Downdetector, which collects status reports on services:
• 73,804 problems with WhatsApp were recorded in a peak at 4:53 pm
• 43% of WhatsApp issues were app related and 28% were messaging
• There have been over 58,219 reports of problems with Facebook – 71% with its website and 17% with the app.
• Over 30,000 reports were recorded at the height of the issues with Instagram – over half of them were issues with the app
• Problems have been reported around the world including North and South America, Europe, Australia, Russia and New Zealand
We are aware that some people have difficulty accessing our applications and products. We are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
– Andy Stone (@andymstone) October 4, 2021
We are aware that some people are currently having issues with WhatsApp. We are working to get things back to normal and will send you an update here as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience!
– whatsapp whatsapp) October 4, 2021
People using their Facebook credentials to log into third-party apps like Pokemon Go and Match Masters have also reportedly experienced issues.
Shares of Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion daily active users, closed down 4.9% on Monday, wiping out $ 47 billion (£ 34.5 billion) from its market value.
This is because the company was also under the pressure of the testimony of a whistleblower, who claims to have chosen “profit over security”.
Security experts monitoring the situation said the disruption could be the result of an internal error, although sabotage by an insider is theoretically possible.
Jonathan Zittrain, director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, described the situation by tweeting: “Facebook basically locked its keys in his car.”
Analysis by the American correspondent, Mark Stone
These failures occur from time to time.
Other social media companies are experiencing this as well, but this one is particularly long.
In terms of what happened, no one knows, but it seems like a global blackout.
I reached out to people from all over the world via Twitter and they all confirmed the networks were down.
It is very embarrassing and it is also potentially very serious for people who depend on these products for their business.
There is also the somewhat odd coincidence that Facebook is in the news today because of a whistleblower.
They were effectively saying that Facebook’s own research found it amplifies hatred, misinformation and political unrest, but the company is hiding what it knows.
Nothing suggests this outage and the whistleblower is more than a coincidence at this point, but it’s definitely not a good day for Facebook.
The Reuters news agency reported that Facebook employees – who have not been identified – said they believed the problems were caused by an internal routing error to an Internet domain.
This has been compounded by the failures of internal communication tools and other resources that depend on this area to function.
A similar problem with the three applications was registered in April 2019, when they crashed for about two hours before returning to normal.