BERLIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 12: A visitor uses a mobile phone in front of the Facebook logo at the #CDUdigital conference on September 12, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The world’s largest social media network was launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard College roommates in 2004, and had its initial public offering in February 2012. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Other products that are part of the same family of apps, such as Facebook Workplace, also stopped working. The three apps – which are all owned by Facebook, and run on shared infrastructure – all completely stopped working shortly before 11pm (Vietnam local time).
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.
Several users have taken to Twitter to report an outage on these platforms. At the time of writing this article, all three services were showing an error that is refreshing. While WhatsApp isn’t sending or receiving messages, Instagram shows “couldn’t refresh the feed.” Similarly, the Facebook page takes forever to load.
Downdetector confirms that there are issues on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook platforms.
As per our data, WhatsApp users are reporting issues in the app as well as sending messages. The Downdetector website shows almost 9,000 crash reports for WhatsApp.
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.
The company is often cryptic about the causes of any issues, and does not tend to explain 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.