Social media networks Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered an outage globally on Wednesday. While the apps have been restored, users still complained of some features not working.
Some of the problems were sending and receiving messages, as well as posting images and status updates, in the case of Instagram and Facebook. The WhatsApp outage affected users in Paraguay, India, Bangladesh, and Argentina.
On Instagram, the images refused to load while on Facebook, users were greeted with empty newsfeeds and in some cases where the statuses were visible, users could not like or react to it.
Facebook and Instagram acknowledged the outage on Twitter saying that they are working to resolve the issues.
According to The Verge, users who tried to sign into Spotify and Tinder using their Facebook accounts also faced problems. Those logging in received a notification that the feature wasn't available. In Spotify, even though it appeared as though the login was valid, once the user signed out, they couldn't sign back in.
American technology company Oculus VR, another subsidiary company of Facebook, also faced problems. They tweeted, "We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing and using Oculus. We're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience while we work through this."
Once the social media networks were down, users took to Twitter to report the outage with hashtags #facebookdown and #instagramdown.
UNESCO, with a humourous twist, urged users to read a book instead.
Is #FacebookDown? Is #InstagramDown as well?— UNESCO (@UNESCO) March 13, 2019
Don't panic!☝️Take this as the perfect occasion to start reading a book! ?
Open to suggestions? What about the latest @UNESCOCourier issue on #IndigenousLanguages?
Check it out here! ? https://t.co/HMOxRPW4Qh pic.twitter.com/tvDuiom47A
Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg had recently announced a bid to bring all his apps closer, and according to The New York Times, "uniting all direct messages across different services". However, now we can see how with the consolidation, if one server goes down, all the servers are also at risk of going down.
The last time Facebook suffered such a severe outage was in November 2018. This was one month after one of the biggest data breaches in Facebook's history where over 50 million accounts were hacked.
"The vulnerability was on Facebook, but these access tokens enable someone to use [a connected account] as if they were the account holder themselves — this does mean they could have access other third party apps that were using Facebook login," Facebook vice-president of product management Guy Rosen was quoted as saying by TechCrunch.