Instagram and WhatsApp suddenly went down on Friday at around 1:30 p.m. ET. It is unclear what exactly is causing the problem, but the outage appears to be global, with users of both apps saying that they are unable to log in or send messages. A visit to Instagram.com results in a “5xx Server Error” at the time of writing.
DownDetector shows a major spike occurring at 1:23 p.m. ET, with nearly 100,000 reports being made in the last few minutes for Instagram, and nearly 25,000 for WhatsApp. Both platforms are owned and run by Facebook, and though the social media site is still up, Facebook Messenger is also down. A quick scroll through the comments reveals that users from the US, India, South Korea, Germany, Brazil, Hong Kong, and more are having problems.
Facebook has yet to offer any explanations for the outage, but we’ll update this post when we know more.
UPDATE 1 | 2:03 p.m. ET: The official Facebook Gaming Twitter account was the first to comment on the outage:
There are a number of issues currently affecting Facebook products, including gaming streams. Multiple teams are working on it, and we'll update you when we can.
— Facebook Gaming (@FacebookGaming) March 19, 2021
UPDATE 2 | 2:23 p.m. ET: Still no official word from Facebook beyond the tweet up above, but Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger all appear to be coming back online. Here in New York, my Instagram feed is loading again, and I can send messages in all three apps after not being able to for close to an hour.
UPDATE 3 | 3:42 p.m. ET: “Earlier today, a technical issue caused people to have trouble accessing some Facebook services,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal late on Friday afternoon. “We resolved this issue for everyone, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”