The three major social media platforms, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, have all gone down, leaving over three billion users globally including Nigerians, United Kingdom (UK), and other users stranded in a major global outage.
Aside from the three apps, other applications owned by Facebook including Facebook Workplace, have also stopped working, forcing users to source for possible alternatives to aid their jobs.
The three applications, which were all owned by Facebook, and run on shared infrastructure, have all completely stopped working shortly before 5pm on Monday.
As gathered, visitors to the Facebook website simply saw an error page or a message that their browser could not connect.
Although, WhatsApp and Instagram apps continued to work, but did not show new content, including any messages sent or received during the problems.
Following the shutdown, Facebook’s shares had already plunged sharply as trading began on Monday, probably because of other ongoing criticism in the wake of allegations shared by a whistleblower who previously worked at the company.
The fall continued after the outage began, however, with the price dropping even more than the company had expected.
A company spokesperson, Andy Stone, who appealed for calm, hinted that efforts were ongoing to restore the apps.
Stone, through a statement on the firm’s official handles on a different social media platform, apologised for the problem and users’ inability to access the platforms but gave no indication of why the outage began and when it may be fixed.
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Minutes after the statement was released, Instagram, as a sub-body of Facebook, also shared a similar update and appealed for calm.
“Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them, Bear with us, we are on it!”, it added.
And WhatsApp also updated users through its official Twitter account, saying We are aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment. We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible.
The outages of Facebook and its products 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 issue and does not tend to explain to 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”.