Facebook appears to be recovering from a more than 14-hour disruption to all of its products that left them mostly inaccessible across the world, whereas Instagram has recovered after suffering a partial outage for over several hours, the photo-sharing social network platform said in a tweet. Certain users around the world were facing trouble in accessing widely used Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook apps earlier on Wednesday, in one of the longest outages faced by the company in the recent past. “Anddddd… we’re back,” Instagram tweeted along with GIF image of Oprah Winfrey screaming in excitement. Facebook did not provide an update. Facebook users, including brand marketers, expressed their outrage on Twitter with hashtags #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown more than 150,000 times.
Some Twitter users who work in “Facebook-centric” jobs, expressed their panic and distress at being unable to use the platform. A Facebook spokesman confirmed the partial outage, but did not provide an update. The social networking site is having issues since over 12 hours, according to its developer’s page. However, Facebook has yet to offer an explanation for the outage. Facebook took to Twitter to inform users that it was working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and confirmed that the matter was not related to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. (In a DDoS attack, hackers use computer networks they control to send such a large number of requests for information from websites that servers that host them can no longer handle the traffic and the sites become unreachable.) “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps,” Facebook said in a statement. “We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” Facebook’s apps seemed to be recovering on Thursday morning, with Instagram announcing it was back. The problems began yesterday afternoon, and only showed real signs of recovery this morning.
They meant core parts of the internet many people rely on every day to communicate were rendered mostly useless. Meanwhile, another challenge which has grappled Facebook is an intensified scrutiny from investigators reportedly probing data deals struck by the world’s largest social network. “I have never seen Facebook down this long,” one user lamented. “And many other sites and apps are having issues too.” A Downdetector map late Wednesday showed Facebook service troubles persisting in parts of Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America. “11 hours and still global wide outage continues,” read another comment. “This is very bad. Seriously this is not something funny or worth the amusement to even troll about.” Some media outlets branded the outage as the biggest in Facebook’s history. The outage, of unknown origin, also affected Facebook-owned Instagram, as well as Messenger. In some cases the apps could be accessed but would not load posts or handle missives. Those on Instagram were not able to refresh feeds or post new material. Facebook Messenger’s desktop version did not load – but the mobile app appeared to allow the sending of some messages; however, users reported glitches with other kinds of content, such as images. WhatsApp, Facebook’s other messaging app, had similar problems. The last time Facebook had a disruption of this magnitude was in 2008, when the site had 150m users – compared with around 2.3bn monthly users today. Other users noted that attempting to use Facebook to sign into apps like Tinder or Spotify wasn’t working either. Attempting to do so would bring up an error saying this feature isn’t available right now. If you were already signed into Spotify, it appears that your login is still valid, but once you sign out, you’ll be unable to get back in.
Makena Kelly and Esther Cohen contributed to this report. Facebook and Instagram appear to be partially down for some users around the world today. While you can open both platforms and some services appear to have been restored, users are reporting issues with sending messages on Messenger, posting to the feed on all Facebook products, and accessing other features on Facebook.com, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Even Facebook-owned Oculus VR is experiencing issues related to the outage. Earlier in the day, WhatsApp appeared to be fine for many people, but users in Paraguay, India, Bangladesh, Argentina, and more note that they begun experiencing issues with sending messages as the afternoon went on. DownDetector indicates that those in Brazil were experiencing the most severe outages. We tested multiple accounts at The Verge, and found that Messenger couldn’t load at all on desktop, although the mobile app was working. Instagram is markedly worse: for some users, posts aren’t loading, Instagram Stories are down, and direct messages and the button to post new content are also not working. Facebook’s ad section was not functioning either, and it led to an internal error when you tried to buy an ad. About an hour after users first noted the outage, Facebook responded on Twitter. It also noted that “the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.”
According to DownDetector, it looks like the outages are mainly in New England; Texas; Seattle, Washington; parts of Latin America, including Peru; the UK; India; and the Philippines. Users have written in from Canada, Las Vegas, and Turkey to note outages there as well. We’ve reached out to Facebook and Instagram to learn more. It now looks like Oculus is also down. One user in California wrote in to The Verge, “Nobody can log in to any multiplayer games purchased through the Oculus store. They also can’t access their Oculus Home environments.” Users also reported being unable to buy games from the Oculus store.