Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp back to working after 6 hours of global outage

Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram services have gradually been returning to normal after hours-long global outage that disabled the Facebook-owned social media platforms for nearly six hours.

Taking to it’s rival platform Twitter, Facebook on Monday evening confirmed its apps were coming back online and apologised to users for a blackout that affected millions of people globally.

“To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we’re sorry,” Facebook said. “We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now,” Facebook said.

Outage tracking website Downdetector.com said it had received nearly 10.6 million reports of problems ranging from the US, Europe to Colombia and then Singapore, with trouble first appearing at about 15:45 GMT.

The messaging service were not restored until nearly six hours later in what Downdetector defined as “the largest outage we’ve ever seen”.

WhatsApp head William Cathcart on Tuesday also took to Twitter to announce it’s service was “back up and running” however, he did not elaborate on why the problem was caused.

“We know that people were unable to use @WhatsApp to connect with their friends, family, businesses, community groups, and more today — a humbling reminder of how much people and organizations rely on our app every day,” Cathcart tweeted.

Later, facebook blamed faulty configuration changes on its routers as the root cause of the outage that prevented the 3.5 billion users from accessing its messaging and social media services.

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication,” Facebook Inc said.

Throughout the day, an error message kept appearing on Facebook.com which read as: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.” The message suggested a Domain Name System (DNS) error, News agency Reuters reported.

DNS allows web addresses to take the Facebook users to their destinations. In July, a similar outage at cloud company Akamai Technologies took down multiple websites.

Downdetector, which tracks only outages by collecting status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform, showed that there were over 50,000 incidents of people reporting issues with Facebook and Instagram.

(Inputs from Al Jazeera and Reuters)

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