Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. What happened?

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. What happened?

Earlier on Thursday, the outage-tracking service DownDetector showed significantly fewer people having issues accessing Facebook and Instagram compared to Wednesday, when the outage began.

The company blamed a change it had made to its system for the outage.

A spokesperson for the social network said the company was co-operating with investigators in multiple federal probes, without addressing the grand jury inquiry specifically. "We're very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone's patience".

Facebook also said that the crash was not due to a DDoS attack - in which hackers overwhelm a website's servers with fake traffic and cause it to crash. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook shares were trading down 1.7 percent early Thursday afternoon, at $170.50.


According to the website Downdetector, Facebook's outage spanned the globe, with reports of disruptions concentrated on the U.S. East Coast and in the United Kingdom.

Cloud-based, privacy-focused messenger system Telegram added a whopping 3 million new users to its estimated 200 million user base in a single day after Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all went down. Facebook product director Rob Leathern said on Twitter that people were also unable to access the social network's ad interfaces, which may exacerbate any lost revenue from the outage.

In Washington, campaigners who have long called for the break-up of Facebook said the outage showed how the concentration of ownership of tech platforms is "dangerous" for consumers.

The prolonged disruption could have financial consequences for the company.

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