Facebook has announced that its apps — which include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Oculus – are once again working after a six-hour global outage on Monday evening.
Although not all users were affected to the same extent, the outage was felt across the world, and started between 5:30 PM and 5:45 PM Belgian time, according to Downdetector, an online platform proving real-time information about the status of various websites and services.
Later in the evening, reports emerged that a team at Facebook’s datacentre in California had to manually reset the servers, which eventually lead to all services functioning again.
To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we’re sorry. We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now. Thank you for bearing with us.
— Facebook (@Facebook) October 4, 2021
Facebook has since said the outage was a result of changes to its underlying internet infrastructure that coordinates the traffic between its data centres, which “interrupted communications and cascaded to other data centres,” in turn “bringing our services to a halt.”
The company added that there is “no evidence that users’ data was unprotected during the outage.”
According to Downdetector, the outage “has become the largest outage we’ve ever seen on Downdetector with over 10.6 million problem reports from all over the globe.” For Facebook, it is the worst outage since an incident took its site offline for more than 24 hours in 2019.
Aside from preventing around 3.5 billion people across the world from communicating through the platforms for many hours, the outage affected many small businesses and creators who rely on these services for their income.
As many people rely on Facebook to log into other apps and services, the outage also resulted in people not being able to log into their accounts for online shopping websites, their smart TVs and other internet-connected devices.
Meanwhile, the outage also broke most of the internal systems used by employees to communicate while at work, including their work email, while others were unable to enter Facebook’s buildings, as the digital entry badges also stopped functioning, meaning many were unable to do their work.
This also made fixing the issue internally more difficult, resulting in the company having to manually reset all servers.