The three apps – which are all owned by Facebook, and run on shared infrastructure – stopped working shortly before 5pm on the 4th October 2021. Other related products, such as Facebook Messenger and Workplace, have also stopped working.
In June and April this year, the social media giant’s platforms unexpectedly went down due to a “network configuration issue”.
Facebook and some of its apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, appeared to go down at the same time on Monday for many users, who turned to Twitter and other social media platforms to lament the outage.
The social network and its apps began displaying error messages before noon Eastern time, users reported. All of the company’s family of apps — Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — showed outage reports, according to the site downdetector.com, which monitors web traffic and site activity.
Outages are not uncommon for apps, but to have so many interconnected apps at the world’s largest social media company go down at the same time is rare.
Two Facebook security team members, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said it was unlikely that a cyberattack caused the issues.
WhatsApp said: “We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment. We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience!”
And Instagram added: “Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them. Bear with us, we’re on it!”
Facebook’s communications executive Andy Stone has said the company, which owns all three platforms, as well as the Messenger app, was “working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
It is possible that the current outage could be connected to the domain name system (DNS), according to some of the error messages being displayed.