The three apps – which are all owned by Facebook, and run on shared infrastructure – stopped working shortly before 5pm. Other related products, such as Facebook Messenger and Workplace, have also stopped working.
At time of writing, it is unclear what has caused the issue although the company has suffered outages before.
In June and April this year, the social media giant’s platforms unexpectedly went down due to a “network configuration issue”.
Read our live coverage of the outage below
AOC mocks Facebook’s outage
Taking advantage of the outage, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has joked that people should use the opportunity to share “our favorite stories of democracy working in hopeful ways and coolest evidence-based reporting”. Examples can be found in the replies to the tweet below.
Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 20:07
Users report internet problems – but it’s probably Facebook
Over at Down Detector – a website we’re probably all becoming very familiar with today – reports of issues at carriers and internet networks are surging. In the US, that’s T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T and others; in the UKit’s Virgin Media, BT, Vodafone, Sky and more.
But it’s probably because Facebook is down, which in turn means Instagram and WhatsApp are down, which in turn means that almost everything a lot of people do with their phone is broken. So it looks like the internet as a whole is broken. But it’s not.
Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 19:38
Twitter celebrates as users flock from Facebook and Instagram
At least Twitter is enjoying itself. It has responded to the outage from its official account.
Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 19:01
When will Facebook be back and why is it, WhatsApp and Instagram not working?
Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 18:34
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Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 18:28
WhatsApp outage unconnected to reports it is about to stop working for ‘millions’
There were reports last week that WhatsApp was about to stop working on a range of old phones. They turned out to be a little misleading: while it is about to cut off support for phones with older operating systems, the list of devices that it supposedly affected was incorrect. You can read all about that here.
But that’s unconnected to this. It doesn’t come into effect until 1 November, anyway. But hopefully it’s an interesting story to read while you wait for it to come back online.
Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 18:11
Why has Facebook broken? DNS could be the culprit
Here’s a very simple version of one of the problems that Facebook is having: its domain name system, or DNS, is not working. That might be a symptom or it might be the cause – we should find out soon enough – but it is the reason that when you type “Facebook.com” into your browser, the computer is unable to have that converted into the actual data that makes up the Facebook website.
Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 18:08
Outage comes just days after Slack went down
On Friday, it was Slack. Today it’s Facebook – and also Facebook Workplace. These tools we’re already much relied on, but since the advent of widespread home working, they can put whole offices out of operation.
Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 18:04
Outages ‘can often point to a cyber attack’, expert says
Questions are often asked about cyber attacks after an event like this. But while they can point that way, that can also add to confusion, cautions Jake Moore, the former head of digital forensics at Dorset Police and now cybersecurity specialist at global cybersecurity firm, ESET.
“Outages are increasing in volume and can often point towards a cyber-attack, but this can add to the confusion early on when we are diagnosing the causes,” he said.
“As we saw with Fastly in the summer, web-blackouts are more often originate from undiscovered software bug or even human error.
“Although these are increasing in frequency and require more failsafes in place, predicting these issues is increasingly more difficult as it was never thought possible before”.
Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 18:02
Facebook employees take a ‘snow day’
The NYT’s Ryan Mac reports that, since everything is broken, Facebook employees are taking the equivalent of a “snow day”.
Andrew Griffin4 October 2021 17:58