WhatsApp messenger on Friday suffered a temporary, albeit major outage, preventing millions of people from using it around the world.
Multiple users – in countries ranging from India, Brazil and Russia to Vietnam and Myanmar – took to Facebook and Twitter in the early hours of today to report that the social media platform was down in their countries.
While users couldn’t send or receive messages using the Facebook-owned app, apparently because of a server problem, the extent of the outage and the reasons for it were not immediately known.
The website Down Detector showed a huge spike in problems with the app, suggesting that almost everyone was unable to get online. While the problems were focused in western Europe and Asia, it was also reported in many parts of the world.
It was gathered that in India, ‘Whatsappdown’ was the top trending item on Twitter, which is WhatsApp’s biggest market with about 200 million of its billion-plus users.
It was also a top trending item on Twitter in Pakistan, Britain, Germany and many other countries.
Moments later, users reported that the world’s most popular messaging service had begun to gradually function again – about 30 minutes after initial complaints of an outage appeared on social media.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Facebook in Singapore said the company was still investigating the matter.
Independent websites monitoring outages of popular social media services via online conversations and Twitter messages report regular outages for WhatsApp, often one every few weeks, but these are typically brief and confined to certain geographies.
Used by more than 1.2 billion people across the world as a key tool for communications and commerce in many countries, the service was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for 19 billion dollars.