'We're Sorry': Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp Slowly Coming Back Online After Six-Hour Outage
22:00 GMT 04.10.2021 (Updated: 03:39 GMT 05.10.2021)
Users on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp began reporting outages at around 11:45 a.m., ET. Facebook attempted to quell outrage and emerging rumors, assuring users that it was "working to get things back to normal."
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp appear to be coming back online after several hours of error messages and outages, according to users with Facebook's community of nearly 3 billion accounts.
The company's engineering team has issued an apology alongside an announcement of the return of its services.
"To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we're sorry," tweeted Facebook Engineering. "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 Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer also confirmed
minutes later that services were beginning to return. Instagram's public relations crew issued a similar statement via Twitter.
"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," according to a statement issued by Facebook Engineering later Monday night
. "This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt."
The team also acknowledged that many people and businesses lost out on business due to the outage. The latest Facebook update also noted that no user data had been comprised during the global outage.
Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, issued a statement later Monday night to confirm that the Facebook-owned platform is "entirely back up and running now."
"We take our mission seriously, and I'm grateful to everyone who worked hard to bring our service back with the reliability you expect from WhatsApp," Cathcart added.
As Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram experienced similar issues between 11:45 a.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET, experts have linked the suspension of services to a change within the flagship platform's domain name system (DNS) entryway.
The action taken - whether deliberate or by accident - would explain the subsequent impact to the apps contained within Facebook's online ecology.
The six-hour outage is the longest downtime for Facebook and its flagship platform since March 2019, when the company's online services were suspended for nearly 24 hours due to an alleged technical error "that triggered a cascading series of issues," according to a Facebook spokesperson.
Earlier on Monday, Schroepfer noted that company teams were "working as fast as possible to debug and restore" ongoing networking issues plaguing the platforms.
DownDetector, a website that compiles real-time, user-based outage reports and offers status updates, reported that it had amassed more than 14 million collective reports for Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.