By Chinenye Anuforo
WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook were all down yesterday in a major worldwide outage.
The three apps, which are all owned by Facebook, completely stopped working in Nigeria shortly before 5pm. Other products that are part of the same family of apps, including Facebook Workplace, also stopped working. Further investigations revealed that users of the apps simply saw an error page or a message that their browser stopped connecting.
“Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can,” a message on the Facebook website said.
The WhatsApp and Instagram apps continued to work but did not show new content, including any messages sent or received during the outage.
Reacting to the development, Andy Stone, spokesperson for the Facebook company said: “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologise for any inconvenience.”
According to analysts, Facebook’s outages happen relatively rarely but tend to be vast in their impact because they affect three of the world’s biggest apps.
The company is often cryptic about the causes of any issues, and does not tend to explain them even after they are fixed. For instance, in 2019, it suffered its biggest outage in years and revealed that it had “triggered an issue” during “routine maintenance operations.”
Earlier in a leaked publication in 2019, Chief Executive, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, noted that such outages are a “big deal.”