Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp downtime causes panic across the globe

Popular social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp experience global downtime.

Top social media platform Facebook has suffered the most severe outage in its history, with key services rendered unusable for users globally for much of Wednesday. BBC reported that the last time Facebook had a disruption of this magnitude was in 2008 when the site had 150M users compared to around 2.3B monthly users today.

Facebook’s main product, its two messaging apps and image-sharing site Instagram were all affected for a couple of hours. The cause of the interruption has not yet been made public.

In response to rumors posted on other social networks, the company said the outages were not a result of a Distributed Denial of Service attack, known as DDoS – a type of cyber-attack that involves flooding a target service with extremely high volumes of traffic.

While Facebook’s main service appeared to load, users reported not being able to post. 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.

While Facebook and Instagram were down, many have turned to Twitter to make jokes about the outage. The hashtags #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown were used more than 150,000 times making it a trending hashtag on the social media platform.

Some Twitter users who work in “Facebook-centric” jobs, expressed their panic and distress at being unable to use the platform.

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