WhatsApp hit by temporary global outage

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Instant messaging app WhatsApp faced a global outage on Friday with thousands of users reporting on Facebook and Twitter that they were unable to send and receive messages using the service.

The outage, which began at around 1 pm (IST), lasted for around an hour based on the spike of user complaints received by downdetector.com, a service which tracks outages in popular social networks. It showed that the outage was global in nature, with severely affected regions being Europe, India and Malaysia.

The hashtag #whatsappdown became one of the most trending topics on Twitter, with users enquiring about the status of the messaging service or using the opportunity to poke fun at the Facebook-owned service.

500 people in India have already died because Whatsapp is down and they couldn't forward a chain message to 10 people. #WhatsappDown

— Anshu Mor (@anshuMor) November 3, 2017

BREAKING: Family members come face to face and have a tearful reunion in almost a decade thanks to #whatsappdown

— Faking News (@fakingnews) November 3, 2017

Whatsapp was down for few minutes and suddenly the unemployment rate amongst Indian uncles rose by 1000 times. #WhatsappDown

— SAGAR (@sagarcasm) November 3, 2017

This employee must now have joined WhatsApp. #WhatsAppDown https://t.co/mCWgNdqHob

— Shirish Kunder (@ShirishKunder) November 3, 2017

The reason for #WhatsAppDown could be an Indian engineer working there. His girl blocked him and he went 'le phir, main block to sab block'

— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) November 3, 2017
There has been no official word from the company on the outage or how many users were affected.

The only indication from WhatsApp that its service was down was seen in the ‘Contact Us’ section under the ‘Help’ menu on its app. However, soon after the service was restored, the message was taken down and normal functionality of the ‘Contact Us’ section was restored.

“Our service is experiencing a problem right now. We are working on it and hope to restore the functionality shortly. Sorry for the inconvenience,” read the message.

WhatsApp has over one billion active users on its platform who log in at least once every month, out of which India houses over 200 million of them, making it the company’s largest geography. Predictably, Indian users dominated the conversation around the outage on Twitter and Facebook, with some users even reporting that they were uninstalling the app.

The company had faced a similar outage in May which lasted for several hours, as opposed to the outage on Friday which users said lasted for around 30 minutes.

WhatsApp had recently rolled out a new feature ‘Delete for all’ which allowed users to recall messages for a short period after they had been sent to others. It is also working on introducing in-app payments via Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in India and is partnering with e-commerce companies to help them communicate with their customers.

What Happened? 
  • WhatsApp users complain of outage in India, other countries 
  • Facebook says it is investigating the reason for the outage 
  • Service begins to function in about an hour according to user reports 
Source: Bloomberg