We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.— Facebook (@Facebook) October 4, 2021
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp experienced one of the worst outages in recent years on Monday. Around 8.45 pm on October 4, reports started coming on DownDetector, a platform that collects real-time reports of internet outages, that Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp were experiencing a severe global outage.
This is not the first time that the social media giant has suffered a massive outage. The longest outage that the platform suffered was in 2008 when its 80 million users couldn't access the website for nearly a whole day.
More recently, the company suffered from a 14-hour downtime in 2019. Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp were all affected at the same time.
While the recent outage was not the longest, the disruption of services perhaps affected the largest number of people with the platform than before, having many more users now.
After around six hours of Facebook services being affected, the apps and services from the company started coming back online.
The company took to Twitter to inform users about the issue.
"We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience," Facebook tweeted.
The disruption didn't just affect users but also enterprises that rely on a suite of Facebook products for official communication. Advertisers who had paid for promotions on the platforms were also adversely affected.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologised to the millions of users who faced hours' worth of disruption in accessing the services.
"Sorry for the disruption today -- I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about," he said.
The outage has left Mark Zuckerberg poorer by over $6 billion in the stock markets.
Experts say that the issue was caused by a BGP (border gateway protocol) error, which was updated just before the outages began. The BGP tables may have been updated wrongly as a result of human error or perhaps with malicious intent.
Facebook has come under increasing criticism due to the recent leaks from its whistleblower Francis Haugen.