WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook have suffered a major disruption. More: a sensational down.
The three apps, all owned by Facebook and on a shared infrastructure, they completely stopped working just before 17pm. Other products that are part of the same app family, such as Facebook Workplace, they stopped working.
Visitors to the Facebook website are simply seeing, when it happens, an error page or a message that their browser cannot connect. The down causes the WhatsApp and Instagram apps to continue to work in fits and starts, but do not show new content, including any messages sent or received during this "crash".
Down by Facebook & C: rare but tough
Facebook downs occur relatively rarely, but they tend to have a huge impact, not least because they affect three of the largest apps in the world.
The company is often cryptic about the causes of any problems and does not tend to explain them even after they have been resolved. In 2019, for example, it suffered the biggest outage in recent years and only claimed to have "triggered a down" during "routine maintenance operations".
In a leaked transcript published on The Verge in 2019 , CEO Mark Zuckerberg notes that such outages are "big trouble". Problems can often lead people to start using competitors, and he noted that it can take "months" to regain trust and get people back to Facebook's platforms if that trust ever returns.