Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have suffered an outage today lasting several hours. At the time of writing, Facebook has been offline getting on for four hours with no sign of life since. The company, quite ironically, took to Twitter to update concerned users that the services will be available and that it's working as quickly as possible to restore the services.
We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing Facebook app. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.— Facebook App (@facebookapp) October 4, 2021
According to a post on Reddit which was deleted but snapped for posterity and uploaded to Twitter, the issue is very bad and will require separate Facebook teams to work together to get the problem sorted. Compounding the problem are coronavirus measures which mean that the data centres do not have as many engineers working in them as you'd normally expect.
Accidental suicide - killing off its own network with a faulty routing update, to the point admins can't put everything back the way it was. They may well be down for a good long while.— Mike Doughney (@MikeDoughney) October 4, 2021
First two comments have been deleted pic.twitter.com/isSMVZhPQ1
Aside from the three Facebook services, which are widely unavailable, BBC News reports that several users have run into issues with the firm's Oculus VR platform too. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are wildly more popular than Oculus, though, so those outages are causing a headache for more people.
Given Facebook's size, you'd think that it would have robust backup plans in place to resort to when issues such as these crop up. With WhatsApp being knocked offline as well as Facebook, it could cut communications between some users off entirely if they do not use other services.
Update 17:45 ET: Facebook appears to be coming back online again for some, however as of posting Instagram and WhatsApp Web still appear to be down. However, you might still encounter this message: