Facebook users around the world reported issues logging into and posting on the site as well as on Instagram and WhatsApp thoughout the day on Wednesday. Facebook did not give a reason for the outage, and provided minimal information other than acknowledging it is aware services are down in some areas.
Early Thursday morning, Instagram tweeted its service was back, while Facebook had not provided an update. Facebook’s developer site said the company had been experiencing a partial outage “since 23 hours ago” as of shortly after 11 a.m. Eastern.
We’re aware of an issue impacting people's access to Instagram right now. We know this is frustrating, and our team is hard at work to resolve this ASAP.
— Instagram (@instagram) March 13, 2019
Facebook acknowledged the outage in a tweet Wednesday, saying, “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
It later confirmed the problem was not the result of a DDoS attack, which refers to a Distributed Denial-of-Service attack in which a hacker overwhelms a site by flooding it with fake traffic.
We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
— Facebook (@facebook) March 13, 2019
Facebook shares were relatively unchanged Wednesday afternoon but slid about 1.8 percent Thursday morning.
Reports of problems with Facebook peaked at over 12,000 worldwide late Wednesday according to Downdetector, a website where users can report problems on apps and websites. Downdetector listed over 300 reports Thursday morning, and many people reported their access had been restored, but Facebook has not yet confirmed the issues were resolved.
Users reported a variety of problems, from being unable to load the site at all to not being able to post comments. Facebook users posted screenshots on Twitter showing error messages when they tried to load the app. When loading the site, some users’ got a message on the screen saying “Account Temporarily Unavailable.”
At a Facebook event at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas Wednesday, the company’s head of video products cracked a joke when he ran into technical issues.
“Today is the technical difficulties day for Facebook, I guess,” cracked Paresh Rajwat, in a reference to the company’s worldwide service outage when his presentation’s video failed to include audio. Rajwat was announcing new features for Facebook’s Watch video service.
— Lady_of_Glencairn (@IWLadyGlencairn) March 13, 2019
Technical issues with Facebook have historically posed serious problems for advertisers who use the platform and even other websites.
Facebook previously experienced an outage of its tool for advertisers in November at a time when marketers were trying to place ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In 2013, Facebook experienced a glitch which took several websites down with it thanks to the prevalence of its login feature across the internet. When users tried to log into a website with their Facebook profile, they were directed to a Facebook error page, Business Insider reported at the time. The glitch, which only lasted a few minutes, affected websites including The New York Times and CNN, Business Insider reported.