Live updates as Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp outage knocks $50bn off value


SOCIAL media users are posting memes in their droves after Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram went down yesterday – costing the firm $50bn.

The three social media apps went down for hours for millions of users in a massive global outage yesterday.

But users flocked to Twitter to share memes about Facebook being down.

One person posted an image of Mr Bean, who represented Twitter, and alongside him a character wrapped head-to-toe in bandages representing Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Others joked about Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, being sent in to fix the problem – and another shared a picture of an electrician fixing wiring and superimposed Zuckerberg’s face on top.

The social media platforms were up and running by late Monday afternoon.

Problems with the services, which are all owned by Facebook, began around 4.45pm BST (11.45am ET), according to online outage trackers, while, the Twitter situation emerged a few hours later.

Read our Facebook down live blog for the latest updates…

  • Timeline: Previous Facebook outages

    There have been other reported Facebook outages in the past including:

    • June 2014: Facebook was down for about a half-hour – its longest outage in four years.
    • January 2015: Facebook was down for about 40 minutes affecting users worldwide.
    • March 2019: A massive Facebook outage affected users worldwide. Facebook was down for about 14 hours, which is believed to be the biggest interruption any social network has ever experienced.
    • January 2021: Facebook experienced a bug that logged most users out of their mobile app.
    • March 2021: Over 60,000 users said they experienced problems with Facebook, while 38,000 Instagram users also reported issues.
    • September 2021: Facebook users are locked out of their accounts.
    • October 2021: Facebook was one of a dozen apps that were experiencing outages
  • EU Commissioner: Bit Tech firms should be split

    Yesterday’s global outage shows how large tech firms should be broken up, the EU’s competition commissioner has said as the fallout from the incident continues.

    Facebook was offline for more than five hours on Monday evening, taking the other services it owns – Instagram and WhatsApp with it – leaving billions of users without their regular means of communication.

    The scale of the incident has sparked renewed calls for big technology platforms to be broken up and greater choice and competition offered to consumers said Margrethe Vestager.

    The incident highlighted the negative impact of big tech firms controlling large swathes of the online world.

    “We need alternatives and choices in the tech market, and must not rely on a few big players, whoever they are,” she wrote on Twitter.

    Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has since apologised for the “disruption” caused by the outage.

  • Facebook’s fall from grace

    Controversial CEO Mark Zuckerberg has seen his company fall from grace, and failed to sell a single share in the last three months of 2018.

    Back in September 2017, Zuck promised to flog between 35million and 75million of his Facebook shares over 18 months.

    It was part of a promise to give away most of his fortune, which requires converting stocks to hard cash.

    Since then, he’s sold about 30.4million shares worth roughly $5.6billion (£4.4billion).

    But Bloomberg says that the Facebook CEO has stopped selling shares after 2018 saw Facebook’s worth plummet.

  • Facebook says ‘faulty configuration change’ to blame for outage

    Facebook has blamed a “faulty configuration change” for the widespread outage which impacted the social media platform, along with Instagram and WhatsApp, for several hours late on Monday.

    The platforms had confirmed on Twitter they were aware of issues and working to resolve them after thousands of people reported outages shortly before 5pm on Monday.

    Users were eventually able to access Facebook and Instagram from late on Monday evening, while WhatsApp said its services were “back and running at 100%” as of 3.30am on Tuesday.

    Facebook said a “faulty configuration change” on its routers was believed to be at the centre of the outage.

  • Twitter flooded with Facebook outage memes

    Social media users flocked to Twitter to share memes about Facebook being down.

    One person posted an image of Mr Bean, who represented Twitter, and alongside him a character wrapped head-to-toe in bandages representing Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

    Others joked about Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, being sent in to fix the problem.

    One user shared a picture of an electrician fixing wiring and superimposed Zuckerberg’s face on top.

    Another posted a picture of a man with the Twitter logo posted over his face cheerily bending over a grave with WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook’s logos on it.

    A third posted a picture of Pixar superhero Mr Incredible saying “it’s showtime” with the caption: “When social media apps are down, Twitter be like…”

  • ‘Configuration changes to backbone routers’

    Facebook said in a statement: “Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication.

    “This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centres communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

    “We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”

  • Russia: Facebook outage shows internet sovereignty needed

    Russian social networks reported a spike in activity during Monday’s global Facebook outage which Moscow officials said showed that Russia was right to develop its own sovereign internet platforms and social networks.

    Russia has sought for years to assert greater sovereignty over its internet segment, putting pressure on foreign tech firms to delete content and store data in Russia. It has also improved its ability to block platforms that break its rules.

    Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said during the near six-hour outage of Facebook services on Monday evening that this “answers the question of whether we need our own social networks and internet platforms”.

    Facebook blamed its outage, which kept its 3.5 billion users from accessing services such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, on a faulty configuration change.

    Russia’s largest home-grown social network, Vkontakte, has far more daily users in the country than Facebook and reported a spike in messages and users after Facebook’s services dropped.

  • Facebook outage: What actually went wrong?

    So we know that Facebook told the internet it didn’t exist any more. But why?

    The details are still light, but Facebook was doing an update – and did it wrong.

    “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’s Santosh Janardhan said.

    “This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”

    Basically, Facebook’s own routers – which connect Facebook servers to the internet – were configured wrongly. So rather than a cyber-attack, overloaded servers or physical damage, it was simply a dodgy update.

    And in seconds, it took billions of users offline for hours.

     

  • What happened to Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp?

    Rumours were circulating online that Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram had been hacked as one joker has mockingly placed the site up for sale for $1 billion on a classified ad site.

    Scott Helme, a cybersecurity expert, told the BBC the outage did not just affect Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

    He said: “The impact of this is much wider than not being able to go on Facebook. We’ve also been to websites and seen things like the log in with Facebook button which currently doesn’t work.

    “So, even completely unrelated services and websites are currently struggling because features that depend on Facebook are also not working. It seems like somebody actually needs to go to the servers to fix this.”

    He added: “It is not a particularly good look when you have to go to rival social media companies [like Twitter] to liaise.”

  • Facebook ‘cannot rule out foul play’

    BBC North America’s Jamas Clayton said in an analysis of the outage: “Interesting too that the outage hampered Facebook’s ability to tackle the crash – bringing down internal tools needed to remedy the problem.

    “It should also be said that Facebook’s statement is carefully written. It doesn’t rule out foul play”.

    Following the statement this morning, Jake Moore, the former Head of Digital Forensics at Dorset Police, said: “It is apparent that yesterday’s outage was not due to an external cyber-attack.

    “Web-blackouts more often originate from an undiscovered software bug or even human error.

    “That said it is quite interesting that Facebook’s statement has not ruled out foul play.

    The Cybersecurity Specialist at security firm ESET continued: “Like the locks on a bank safe, the money inside is only as secure as the person with the keys – cybersecurity is as much about a company’s own internal security procedures as it is about fending off outsider attacks”.

  • Messaging app Signal saw spike in sign-ups

    Other platforms such as Twitter and messaging app Signal saw huge surges in traffic as people turned to them to get back online.

    But it led Twitter users to report issues at one point as the platform strained under the weight of the sudden burst of additional users.

    By late Monday evening, access to Facebook and Instagram had returned for most users, while WhatsApp said it was back up at running “at 100%” as of 3.30am on Tuesday morning.

    Signal said that during this time millions of people joined the platform but added that some people “aren’t seeing all of their contacts appear on Signal” due to the influx of users.

  • The social accounts people most want to delete

    New research has revealed which social media accounts the UK most want to delete.

    A new study from cybersecurity experts VPNOverview.com reveals that Instagram is the social media account that Brits are most keen to delete.

    The term ‘how to delete Instagram account” receiving a quarter of a million searches each month, which equates to over 3.6 million a year.

    Coming at second, Facebook is also a social media account people most want to delete, with ‘How to delete Facebook account” receiving over 60,000 searches a month.

    Snapchat is next, with 49,500 monthly searches from people looking to delete their accounts. Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn were also high on the list.

    Here’s the rankings for “How to delete…” searches:

    • Instagram account – 301,000
    • Facebook account – 260,500
    • Snapchat account – 349,500
    • Twitter account -412,000
    • TikTok account – 54,400
    • LinkedIn account – 63,600
    • YouTube account -72,400
  • Twitter made the most of the situation

    Twitter, which appeared to be working, referenced the situation at 1.27pm ET, tweeting: “hello literally everyone” on their official account, to which WhatsApp replied: “hello!”

    “Thought this was supposed to be encrypted…” quipped Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in his reply to the messaging app.

    The company’s initial tweet prompted a huge reaction from major US accounts, like Warner Bros (“good move”) and Burger King, who responded: “Hiya.”

    “How r u handling the fame,” inquired McDonald’s Canada, while Reddit said: “hi.”

    At around 1.54pm ET, Instagram replied, writing: “Hi and happy Monday” with a grimacing emoji an hour after confirming the issues on Twitter.

  • Facebook market value tumbled by $50bn

    Facebook saw $50bn wiped from it’s market value yesterday as the social media giant and affiliated sites went crashing down yesterday afternoon.

    It took nearly six hours for Facebook and Instagram to be partially reconnected – with shares in the company falling 5% as engineers attempted to root out the problem.

    According to the Telegraph, it means Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg saw his wealth drop $7bn, after 2.8bn Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp users could not use the service.

    Due to “configuration changes on the backbone routers” – mainly a bug or a mistaken code update – around 60,000 employees were unable to communicate internally.

  • What did Zuckerberg say about yesterday’s outage?

    Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg was forced to halt company stock, and is estimated to have lost $7billion in net worth in a matter of hours.

    Estimates of Facebook’s lost ad revenue range from $66million to $100million over the seven-hour outage, according to Snopes and Fortune.

    Zuckerberg apologised for the global bungle, saying “sorry for the disruption today” in a Facebook post.

    “I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about,” the billionaire Harvard drop-out said.

  • App flap

    Those attempting to open the sites on a desktop were reportingly being met with a black, white page and a message that reads “500 server error.”

    The iOS and Android versions of the Instagram and Facebook apps opened but would not load users’ feeds or show them new content.

    WhatsApp messages were not reaching their recipients, with sent texts sitting with a clock icon next to them to indicate that they haven’t been dispatched.

  • Hacked data for sale, claims forum user

    Users claimed Facebook was hacked as it was alleged the personal data of 1.5 billion users’ appeared on a hackers’ forum. 

    This has the potential to let cybercriminals and unscrupulous advertisers to plunder the personal details of people from across the globe.

    According to the data privacy website PrivacyAffairs, a user of a known hacker forum posted an announcement claiming to possess the personal data of more than 1.5 billion Facebook users.

    The information was up for sale.

    One prospective buyer claims to have been quoted £3,700 for the data of a million Facebook user accounts.

    The data allegedly includes users’ name, email, location, gender, phone number and user ID. 

  • ‘Networking issues’

    Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer revealed the issues behind the Facebook outage.

    He took to Twitter to reveal the reasons, explaining; “*Sincere* apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now.

    “We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible.”

    The site went down for seven hours and reportedly wiped around $50bn from Facebook’s market value.

  • Other apps experienced outages at same time

    A variety of other apps, including GoogleAmazon, Spectrum, Verizon, TwitterSnapchat and TikTok – were also reporting outages.

    Further outages were reported at AppleTelegram, and Cricket Wireless – but it’s not immediately clear if all of these tech issues are connected.

    Tinder was also reported to be experiencing issues as of 3.37pm ET, Downdetector reported, leaving singletons in the lurch, while Twitter users were also apparently affected from around 3.29pm ET.

    Many people are or were unable to access the smartphone apps and websites of the hugely popular services. Gmail outages were also reported within the past hour but the company didn’t detect any.

    Gmail said “there are no disruptions with Gmail” in response to reports of an outage on Twitter shortly after 4pm ET.

  • Bug or error

    There were also reports of WhatsApp returning for some.

    A total of 43 per cent of users experienced issues with WhatsApp – with 27 per cent saying they were unable to send messages.

    It’s still unclear what caused the outages.

    Hundreds of thousands of people reported issues with the social networking apps on the website DownDetector.

  • Timeline: Previous Facebook outages

    There have been other reported Facebook outages in the past including:

    • June 2014: Facebook was down for about a half-hour – its longest outage in four years.
    • January 2015: Facebook was down for about 40 minutes affecting users worldwide.
    • March 2019: A massive Facebook outage affected users worldwide. Facebook was down for about 14 hours, which is believed to be the biggest interruption any social network has ever experienced.
    • January 2021: Facebook experienced a bug that logged most users out of their mobile app.
    • March 2021: Over 60,000 users said they experienced problems with Facebook, while 38,000 Instagram users also reported issues.
    • September 2021: Facebook users are locked out of their accounts.
    • October 2021: Facebook was one of a dozen apps that were experiencing outages
  • Bungled server update

    FACEBOOK, Instagram and WhatsApp crashed after a “bungled server update” and staff had to manually reset the system to get the sites back online, an expert has claimed.

    Millions of users were left in the dark when the social media apps went down for seven hours – Facebook’s worst global outage since 2008.

    Read more here.

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    Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find those secret features within social media apps? We have you covered…

  • Face-plant

    Insiders have also claimed Facebook’s internal systems were shut down, leaving staff unable to access the firm’s California head office due to frozen key cards during the seven-hour chaos.

    The company’s staff quickly flooded data centres to reset the system themselves, MailOnline reports.

    But other users claimed Facebook was hacked as it was alleged the personal data of 1.5 billion users’ appeared on a hackers’ forum. 

    This has the potential to let cybercriminals and unscrupulous advertisers to plunder the personal details of people from across the globe.

  • Facebook may have lost $100m in ad revenue during outage

    Estimates of Facebook’s lost ad revenue range from $66million to $100million over the seven-hour outage, according to Snopes and Fortune.





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