Facebook Inc's suite of apps –including popular photo-sharing platform Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp– have gone down in a major outage in several parts of the world.
The apps completely stopped working shortly before 10:00 pm (Bangladesh time), report Reuters and www.independent.co.uk citing outage tracking website Downdetector.com.
Other products that are part of the same family of apps, such as Facebook Workplace, also stopped working.
Visitors to the Facebook website simply saw an error page or a message that their browser could not connect. The WhatsApp and Instagram apps continued to work but did not show new content, including any messages sent or received during the problems.
Facebook’s outages happen relatively rarely but tend to be vast in their impact, not least because they affect three of the world’s biggest apps.
Downdetector, which only tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform, showed there were more than 50,000 incidents of people reporting issues with Facebook and Instagram. The outage might be affecting a larger number of users.
Meanwhile, the social-media giant's instant messaging platform WhatsApp was also down for over 22,000 users, while Messenger was down for nearly 3,000 users.
WhatsApp was also trending on Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), with more than 850,000 tweets.
"We're aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment," the messaging platform's official Twitter handle said. "We're working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible."
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company is often cryptic about the causes of any issues and does not tend to explain to them even after they are fixed. In 2019, for instance, it suffered its biggest outage in years – and said only that it had “triggered an issue” during “routine maintenance operations”.
In a leaked transcript published in The Verge in 2019, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg note that such outages are a “big deal”. Any problems can often lead people to start using competitors instead and noted that it can take “months” to win back trust and get people back on Facebook’s platforms – if they come back at all.