SINGAPORE – Popular messaging app WhatsApp was down for over two hours on Tuesday, forcing users in Singapore and around the world to switch to alternatives like Telegram.
The outage affected more than 20,000 users in Singapore, according to outage tracking website downdetector.com. Affected users could not send and receive messages on the Meta-owned platform. The messaging service went back up at around 5pm in Singapore.
Millions of users around the world reportedly experienced similar problems.
When contacted, a Meta spokesman told The Straits Times: “We know people had trouble sending messages on WhatsApp today. We’ve fixed the issue and apologise for any inconvenience.”
He did not explain what contributed to the service disruption when asked.
Clinical psychology intern Stephanie Ng, 22, was thankful she had alternatives when WhatsApp went down. It was troublesome at first to switch to rival platform Telegram to communicate with the therapists at her workplace. “But it’s not a very big deal. It’s not very difficult to just use another app to communicate,” she said.
However, business and technology analyst Mohammed Rumman Amin was worried for his 57-year-old mother, who primarily relies on the app to communicate with family members.
“She’s not very technologically savvy, so she may not be aware that the app is facing an issue,” said the 25-year-old.
He said that the app is a secondary form of communication at his workplace Accenture, especially for those away from their workstations.
In October 2021, Facebook experienced a similar service outage that lasted hours and shut out many of its 2.7 billion global users, including those on WhatsApp.