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Facebook returns after its worst outage ever

Facebook returns after its worst outage ever


Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook all appear to be operating normally

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Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

Facebook is reporting all services operational after a prolonged outage that impacted all of the company’s most popular apps. Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram all went down to some degree at about the same time around 11AM ET on March 13th, affecting users around the world. For some, the services were completely inaccessible. For others, certain features like stories or direct messaging stopped working. It was a stark reminder that three of the world’s most popular internet services are owned and operated by a single giant corporation.

It wasn’t until over 24 hours later that Facebook finally gave the all clear, attributing the downtime to a “server configuration change.” “We’ve now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience,” the company said via Twitter.

The interruption also affected gameplay for owners of Oculus VR headsets, a company Facebook bought in 2014. Some sites, like Tinder or Spotify, that use Facebook credentials were unable to authorize logins. Workplace, Facebook’s connectivity platform for companies, also suffered issues.

In 2008, Facebook was knocked offline by a bug that affected many of its 80 million users. That outage lasted for about a day. Facebook now boasts about 2.3 billion monthly users, making the recent outage the worst yet for the company, and its family of apps and services.

During the outage, Facebook’s developer dashboard reported an uptick in the Average API Error Rate. The company did say that it was not caused by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. The November 20th, 2018 outage affecting Facebook and Instagram was caused by a “bug in our server,” the company said at the time.

With Facebook unreachable for many, its properties were left with little choice but to communicate status of the outages on that other social network: Twitter. Proving yet again that Twitter is the place where the people who write the news get their news.