In the wee hours of Thursday (14 March), social media users around the globe, including Singapore, had problems accessing the Facebook family of applications, which include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. This is because the company went through in what appears to be the most severe outage in their history.
According to Downdetector, a website for reporting problems on applications and websites, there were countless reports logged on a range of issues like troubles logging into accounts to the inability to post comments or photos. The website also revealed that Facebook service troubles persisted in parts of Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America.
Users said they’ve encountered partially loaded pages or no content at all, accompanied by a message that said an error had occurred. On the other hand, Instagram users were not able to refresh their feeds or post any new material. The cause of the interruption is yet to be made public.
On Facebook Messenger, users mentioned that their desktop version could not load, but the mobile app allowed some messages to be sent out. There were also issues with content such as images. Those who are using WhatsApp also faced similar problems.
“We’re aware that people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps,” Facebook said in a statement.
“We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
In its statement, the company added that the outages were not due to a Distributed Denial of Service attack, also known as DDoS – a type of cyber-attack that involves flooding a service that has an extremely high volumes of traffic.
This is not the first time Facebook had encountered such a situation. Last November, a Facebook outage took place due to a server problem and a September 2018 outage was said to happen because of “networking issues”.
An outage can cost serious monetary loses to Facebook as it badly affects advertisers. On top of that, problems with Facebook can lead to other sites and apps to go out of action, as they rely users to log in with their Facebook accounts. In 2013, a glitch stopped users from logging into websites such as The New York Times and CNN for a few minutes.