After worst outage in its history, Facebook says all services are back online

15 Mar 2019

Image: © pixs:sell/

Downtime attributed to a ‘server configuration change’.

Social networking behemoth Facebook has said that all of its properties – including Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus – are operating as normal.

A severe outage that began on Wednesday (13 March) afternoon around 4pm UTC traversed the globe, making key functions on the various apps and websites unworkable.

Future Human

Ironically, the biggest social network of them all decided to announce the end of the outage on a rival social media platform, Twitter.

The company, in a brusque tweet, said: “Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services. We’ve now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience.”

More answers are needed, Facebook

The single tweet response to a 24-hour outage that must have annoyed and inconvenienced a good portion of the 2.3bn monthly users of Facebook and its family of services has left many wondering if the social media giant will provide a more detailed analysis of its engineering issues.

The episode must also have been galling for the multitude of third-party apps such as Tinder or Spotify as well as advertisers that rely on the Facebook network for their livelihoods.

When the outage occurred, Facebook said that it was not caused by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

Facebook is understood to be investigating the overall impact of the issue “including the possibility of refunds for advertisers”.

At the time of writing, Downdetector, an analytics service that styles itself a weather report for the internet, still shows parts of the world – including the US, the UK, Europe, South America, India, Malaysia, Australia and Japan – reporting issues.

Facebook’s final analysis and engineering report should make interesting reading for a platform that by itself rivals the very internet as the go-to place for communication, news and entertainment.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years