Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram went down with a crash on Monday, in what amounts to a major internet blackout.
All three apps are owned by Facebook, which means that they share an infrastructure. All other apps connected to the company, such as Facebook Messenger, have gone down as well.
Reports on DownDetector.com showed the outages appear to be widespread but it’s unclear at press time if it impacts all users or just some locations. It’s not currently known what is causing the outage.
All three platforms stopped working shortly before 12 p.m. EST.
The blackout happened just as Facebook Executive Antigone Davis was defending the company live on CNBC in the wake of a major leak of company documents showing that they knew Instagram can have a harmful impact on teenage users.
Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp — all down simultaneously
The company has yet to release and information as to the cause of the issue, but they have released a statement on their Twitter account, as that social media site has not been impacted by the blackout.
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing Facebook app,” the company said on Twitter. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.” A similar tweet was posted about WhatsApp.
We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing Facebook app. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
— Facebook App (@facebookapp) October 4, 2021
Those hoping to log into their Facebook accounts simply received an error page stating that their browser could not connect to the social media site, which hosts nearly three billion active users.
On Instagram and Whatsapp, users were able to load their old feeds and messages, but no new content was available. Currently, users impacted by the outage cannot send and receive any messages, nor can they post or view new content.
The problem also appears to be affecting its virtual reality arm, Oculus. Users can load games they already have installed and the browser works, but social features or installing new games does not.
There’s no word yet from Facebook about what may be causing the problem or when those sites, including Messenger and WhatsApp, will be operational again, but we will update with more information when it’s available.
This is a rare blackout for Facebook, which is the world’s largest social media network and currently dominates the industry. Although a rare phenomenon, such an outage has had a huge impact on the site’s users, which include businesses.
In 2019, a similar outage lasted about an hour. Facebook said that outage was caused by a technical issue. Major websites can also sometimes go down if content delivery networks, or CDNs, go offline. That happened in June, when one such CDN, Fastly, was down due to technical issues. That caused major websites like Amazon, Reddit and The New York Times to go down.
This is a developing story.