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Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp back up after massive outage

Updated April 14, 2019

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Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were experiencing issues on Sunday in Pakistan and other countries. — AFP
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were experiencing issues on Sunday in Pakistan and other countries. — AFP

Social networking services Facebook and Instagram, and messaging service WhatsApp on Sunday experienced issues for users worldwide, including in Pakistan.

Facebook and Instagram were both inaccessible in parts of the world for nearly 2.5 hours, with news feeds refusing to refresh and the main Facebook.com domain unavailable, while WhatsApp messages were not being sent or received. People took to Twitter to report the outages, with #WhatsAppDown, #InstagramDown and #FacebookDown trending in Pakistan and across the globe.

According to traffic-monitoring website DownDetector, Facebook was the first to encounter problems at around 3:28pm [PST], followed by Instagram at 3:33pm and WhatsApp at 3:58pm.

DownDetector’s live outage map showed that the issues were mainly in Europe and Asia, and parts of America. The websites and apps for all three were back up and running for most users between 6pm to 6:30pm.

Facebook, which acquired Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, has yet to comment on the disruption.

The outage comes exactly a month after Facebook went down for almost a full day across parts of North America and Europe on March 14. At the time, the social network had said that the outages, which affected users and advertisers worldwide, resulted from a “server configuration change”, AP had reported.

Some media outlets had branded the March outage — which also affected Instagram as well as Messenger — as the biggest in Facebook's history.

Sunday's outage is yet another publicity problem for a company already dealing with privacy issues and regulatory probes.

Regulators, investigators and elected officials in the US and elsewhere in the world have already been digging into the data sharing practices of Facebook, which has more than two billion users.

The social network's handling of user data has been a flashpoint for controversy since it admitted last year that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy which did work for Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, used an app that may have hijacked the private details of 87 million users.