Here’s why Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were down

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp

As the whole world went semi-offline last night due to a six-hour outage on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, the main question on everyone’s mind was “what’s happening to our social media platforms?” 

Well, Facebook cleared the air in a blog post right after the outage was fixed. Apparently, the answer to the popular question isn’t as gripping as most of us have anticipated.  

The six-hour outage that took Facebook, Messenger, OculusVR, WhatsApp and Instagram down is a result of a configuration change to its routers, not due to a hack attempt to gain all of the available user data.  

“To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms. We’ve been working as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are now back up and running,” Santosh Janardhan, VP of Facebook’s Infrastructure wrote in the blog post. 

“Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime,” Janardhan added. 

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an apology on his personal page, writing that, “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today, I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.” 

What’s described as Facebook’s worst outage since 2019 caused millions of users to resort to other platforms such as Signal and Telegram. 

For example, Signal saw an increase in its new sign-ups, “on par with January of this year,” according to The Verge

However, users can now go back to operating normally on their favorite tech giants.