Tech giant Facebook suffered a service outage yesterday which resulted in its Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp services all crashing.
The New York Times reports that all Facebook-related online services, including the social media website itself, photo-sharing app Instagram, and messaging service WhatsApp, all faced bugs and service outages Wednesday. The issues began around 11 a.m. EST and affected users in the United States, Japan, Australia, and Mexico, just to name a few according to the bug reporting website DownDetector.
Many Instagram profiles refused to load, Facebook users were faced with empty newsfeeds, and issues sending messages through Facebook’s Messenger app, as did WhatsApp users. These issues arose just a short while after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to unite all of Facebook’s services closer together in a more cohesive user experience.
However, the latest Facebook service outage shows the issues that arise when attempting to consolidate a number of online services and apps together. If the main system fails, all apps are affected. The issues at Facebook were so widespread that the sites own bug reporting program was affected, forcing the social media firm to explain the issue via rival social media platform Twitter:
We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
— Facebook (@facebook) March 13, 2019
During the course of the service outage, private messaging service Telegram reportedly received three million new users in just 24 hours. Telegram’s founder and CEO Pavel Durov announced the influx of new users via his own private Telegram channel. As of March 2018, Telegram boasted a user base of 200 million people, so a three million user boost in 24 hours is a significant increase for the app.
Telegram supports end-to-end encryption and has consistently made user privacy a key part of the app’s ethos. The app is also funded primarily through user donations rather than targeted ad services as Facebook is.