Outage hits Facebook, Instagram users worldwide; Singapore also affected

Users of Facebook and two of its popular side shoots, Instagram and Messenger, are experiencing technical difficulties.
Users of Facebook and two of its popular side shoots, Instagram and Messenger, are experiencing technical difficulties.PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO (BLOOMBERG, AFP) - Facebook is undergoing one of its most widespread and persistent system outages, with users across the globe unable to access its social network and services from Instagram to Messenger. 

From about noon New York time (12am Thursday Singapore time), users encountered only partially loaded pages or no content at all, accompanied by a message saying an error had occurred.

As the outage continued, gripes flooded rival Twitter as well as a comments section on downdetector.com, a website for reporting problems on applications and websites.

“I have never seen Facebook down this long,” one user lamented.  “And many other sites and apps are having issues too.”

A Downdetector map late Wednesday showed Facebook service troubles persisting in parts of Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America. 

“11 hours and still global wide outage continues,” read another comment.  “This is very bad. Seriously this is not something funny or worth the amusement to even troll about.”

Some media outlets branded the outage as the biggest in Facebook’s history. 

The outage, of unknown origin, also affected Facebook-owned Instagram, as well as Messenger.  In some cases the apps could be accessed but would not load posts or handle missives.

Several brand marketers tweeted that Facebook’s ad-buying system was down as well. As of about 6:30pm (6:30am Thursday Singapore time), Facebook said it was still investigating the overall impact, “including the possibility of refunds for advertisers.”

Ad sales are the company’s lifeblood and persistent difficulties could be costly. Based on 2019 sales estimates, Facebook Inc. is projected to generate average daily revenue of about US$189 million. 

“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,” according to a Facebook spokesman. 

Facebook services going down shortly after Google experienced a problem on Wednesday was not lost on some users. 

"first it was gmail, then facebook and ig. is anyone else having problems with whatsapp besides me?!?!!?!!!!" wrote user @SallyWeasley.

One user quipped that with Facebook and Instagram down, he would use Twitter. 

"Dear #Twitter, since Instagram and Facebook is down I will use you instead," wrote @fluffyhighbuns. 

A Facebook statement on Twitter said.“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,” 

A short time later, Facebook indicated the outage was not related to an attack aimed at overwhelming the network.

“We’re focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack,” Facebook said, referring to what is known as a distributed denial of service cyber strike.


Facebook outages around the world according, to downdetector.com. The cause of the technical difficulties has yet to be determined. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM DOWNDETECTOR.COM 


Instagram outages around the world, according to downdetector.com. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM DOWNDETECTOR.COM 

According to the Downdetector.com, outages were heaviest in North America and Europe.

Last November, a Facebook outage was attributed to a server problem and a September 2018 outage was said to be the result of “networking issues”.

Facebook outages can cost big money: technical problems with the site pose serious problems for advertisers. 

 

In the November outage, a tool for advertisers went down at a time when many were trying to place advertisements for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping extravaganzas.

Problems with Facebook can also put other sites and apps out of action, since many rely on users logging in with their Facebook accounts. In 2013, a glitch prevented users from logging into websites including The New York Times and CNN for a few minutes.