Facebook is in the midst of its biggest outage in recent memory. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp have been down for users around the world for at least five hours.
The company hasn’t commented on exactly how many of its users are affected, but reports from downdetector.com, a website that tracks online service disruptions, indicates the issue is widespread, affecting users in North America, South America, and Europe. (Downdetector.com shares a parent company with Mashable.)
Besides Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, the company’s advertising tools have also been impacted, according to its director of product, Rob Leathern. Users are also reporting issues with their Oculus accounts.
While Facebook users tend to freak out at even the smallest problems, the current outage is much, much longer than usual. For context, Facebook went down last August for about 45 minutes, which was a relatively lengthy disruption at the time.
A multi-hour outage affecting multiple Facebook services is rare, if not unprecedented. We’re now roughly five hours into this outage, according to Facebook’s developer dashboard (which, surprise, also keeps going down intermittently), and we’re no closer to knowing why or when apps will come back online.
Facebook said on Twitter that it was “working to resolve the issue,” and confirmed that the problems are not the result of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, as some have speculated.
We’re focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.
— Facebook (@facebook) March 13, 2019
Earlier in Facebook’s history, technical issues were a more common occurrence as the social network raced to keep up with explosive user growth. But Facebook now has billions of users across its services, many of whom rely on the company’s apps for daily communication.
That these services have been struggling for hours indicates that, whatever the issue is, it’s not something Facebook’s massive engineering team has been able to easily fix.
We’ve reached out to the company for more information on the source of the current problems, and will update if we hear back.