WhatsApp, Instagram global outage: Latest event not the longest

Late Friday, popular Facebook-owned services WhatsApp and Instagram suffered a global outage, including in India, that lasted for almost 45 minutes, preventing users of these apps from accessing, sending or receiving messages, on these platforms.

Friday night downtime

Instant messaging platform WhatsApp and photo-sharing service Instagram went offline just before 11pm IST. It lasted till around 11.45pm for some users, after which they were able to use these services. In addition to these popular apps, other Facebook services like Facebook Gaming streams were also hit.

‘Technical issue’

While a specific reason was not given by Facebook — the parent company of both these apps — a spokesperson for the company attributed the outage to “a technical issue” that “caused people to have trouble accessing some Facebook services”.

Crores of users hit

In India alone, there are 53 crore WhatsApp users and 21 crore Instagram users. According to popular downtime reporting service Downdetector, over 49 per cent of WhatsApp users were facing connection issue, 48 per cent people were unable to send or receive messages on the platform and 2 per cent were not able to log in. Downdetector also showed that around 66 per cent of Instagram users were not able to access the app’s feed, as well as its official website.

Not a new occurrence

In 2020 alone, four major WhatsApp outages had occurred, of which the most major one was in January, which had lasted for around three hours. After this, there was one in April, followed by a two-hour outage in July and a brief one in August.

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