WhatsApp’s hour-long outage today was global in scale, likely caused by software bug

Did WhatsApp go down for you earlier today? You weren’t alone. The Facebook-owned messaging service experienced a roughly hour-long global outage on Friday, which led to difficulties in accessing the app and sending messages to friends. While no online service is immune to the occasional hiccup, this outage was notable for its global scale which impacted WhatsApp’s sizable user base.

The company today has over 1.2 billion users, and is relied upon as the main means of messaging for many people, particularly in emerging markets like India.

The outage was first reported by Reuters, which noted that “whatsappdown” was a trending item on Twitter in countries like India, the app’s biggest market with around 200 million of WhatsApp’s over one billion users. Other countries where the outage was popping up on social media included Pakistan, Britain, Germany, Brazil, Russia, Vietnam, and Myanmar, Reuters had said.

WhatsApp today released a brief statement, confirming the outage’s global scale after the situation was resolved.

“Earlier today, WhatsApp users globally had trouble accessing the app for about an hour. This issue has been fixed and we apologize for the inconvenience,” a spokesperson said.

We understand that the outage was caused by a bug in the software code, as opposed to something like issues with a data center, for example.

It’s not very common for WhatsApp to be unavailable worldwide. Most outages tend to be regional in scale, as opposed to affecting app users around the globe.

But not everyone today noticed the outage due to how quickly it was resolved. The service began functioning again some regions around 30 minutes after the first complaints began popping up, Reuters had noted. That means that by the time some users began hearing about the problem, WhatsApp was already working for them again.

However, this was not WhatsApp’s first global outage this year. The app in May had experienced downtime of a few hours – a longer outage than today’s.

Featured Image: Erik Tham/Getty Images

Published at Fri, 03 Nov 2017 15:56:41 +0000