Facebook has apologized for the outage that hit the social media giant, as well as Instagram and WhatsApp, for several hours late Monday.
In a statement posted to Twitter at 11:31 p.m., Facebook Engineering confirmed that the platforms were coming back online and thanked its millions of users around the world “for joining us.”
“To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we’re sorry,” the statement read.
“We have worked hard to restore access to our applications and services and are happy to announce that they are coming back online now. Thanks for being with us.
The platforms had confirmed on Twitter that they were aware of the issues and working to resolve them after thousands of people reported the outages shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday.
Users were able to access Facebook and Instagram from Monday evening, while WhatsApp said just after midnight that its services were “slowly and cautiously” being restored.
At 3:30 a.m., WhatsApp confirmed that its services were “back and working 100%.”
Security experts have speculated that the problem arose as a result of changes to the network, the cause of which is still not confirmed.
Adam Leon Smith, of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and software testing expert, said: “The outage is caused by changes to Facebook’s network infrastructure.
“Many of the recent high profile outages have been caused by similar events at the grid level.
“It is reported by unidentified Facebook sources on Reddit that the network changes also prevented engineers from connecting remotely to troubleshoot issues, delaying resolution.
Notably, many organizations now define their physical infrastructure as code, but most don’t apply the same level of testing rigor when they change that code as they would when changing their business logic from based.
However, cybersecurity specialist Jake Moore said there was a “chance” the problem was linked to a cyber attack.
He told the PA News Agency: “There have been many reports and I am having trouble knowing exactly what happened. I read it could be DNS related which means there is a problem with the connection not knowing where to go. to your device.
“It could well be human error or a software bug lurking in the shadows, but whatever the case, Facebook needs to do its best to alleviate the problem causing more panic about it.” .
“The biggest problem is the fears of a cyber attack, but as we saw in Fastly this summer, I would hedge my bets on this is not the case as we are talking about one of the bigger companies in the world, but there is always a chance. “
The New York Times reported that the problem was likely caused by a misconfiguration of Facebook’s server computers, which did not allow people to log into its sites like Instagram and WhatsApp.
He said the issues appeared to be more complex and needed a manual update.
Mike Schroepfer, CTO of Facebook, said on Twitter: “* Sincere * apologies to everyone affected by the outages in Facebook powered services at this time.
“We are having network issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as quickly as possible. “
Data from web service monitoring platform DownDetector showed that nearly 50,000 people reported the outages on Facebook just after 5 p.m.
Most of the complaints cited issues with the website (72%), while others were related to problems connecting to the server and the app.
Over 75,000 people complained about WhatsApp, 43% reported problems with the app itself, while 28% cited connecting to the server and 28% sending messages.
More than 30,000 Instagram users also had similar complaints, with 51% regarding the app, 26% about connecting to the server and 23% citing the website.
A graph on the DownDetector website showed a clear peak after 4 p.m.
Facebook’s stock price fell 4.9% amid the outage, which also came the day after a whistleblower claimed in an interview in the United States that the company puts its own interests ahead of the good public.
Platforms were hit by blackouts in 2019 – in an incident that saw #FacebookDown, #instagramdown and #whatsappdown trending around the world on Twitter.
A few months earlier, Facebook and Instagram users said they were unable to open pages or sections on apps.
WhatsApp said in a statement, “We are aware that some people are currently having issues with WhatsApp.
“We are working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.”
Instagram said, “Instagram and their friends are having a bit of a hard time right now, and you may have trouble using them. Please indulge us, here we are.
The issue has also affected other platforms such as Twitter amid increased traffic to its website and app.
Twitter support tweeted, “Sometimes more people than usual use Twitter. We are preparing for these moments, but today things did not go exactly as planned.
“Some of you may have struggled to see replies and private messages as a result. This has been corrected. Sorry about that!”
He had joked earlier, “Hello literally everyone.”