Monday was a day when people had to go back to making old-fashioned phone calls after messaging applications run by Facebook (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) collapsed worldwide for around 7 hours.
Facebook's chief technology officer (CTO), Mike Schroepfer, cited “network problems,” but failed to elaborate on the reasons for the outage in his Twitter posting.
To everyone who has been affected by the disruption to our platforms today: we're sorry. We know that billions of people and businesses around the world depend on our products and services to stay connected. We appreciate your patience, said Facebook.
The blackout in the three largest social networks in the world, with billions of followers, harmed companies, workers and students and was the most talked about topic on other platforms such as Twitter.
Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg was said to have lost nearly US $ 6 billion in one day due to the technical problem as company shares plummeted.
Experts seemed to agree late Monday that the cause for the mass malfunction was a DNS error, which in fact is just a symptom and not the cause for the interruption.
The three apps also experienced instability last June. At the time, Facebook claimed that the failure was caused by a configuration tweak.
“The technical problem first kept users wondering what was wrong with their devices, then their internet connections and it took people a while to realize is was something global,” a bewildered 21st century man in the streets of Buenos Aires told MercoPress.
Rumors about Facebook losing its website domains were quickly ruled out. The company owns facebook.com until at least March 29, 2030. The domain whatsapp.com will remain with the messaging application until at least June 4, 2030, while the instagram.com is valid at least until September 4, 2030. This domain loss hypothesis also sparked speculation that Facebook had suffered a hacker attack, which was never confirmed.
Other services which can act aas backup systems were also reported to have experienced some instability, probably due to the large flow of users who logged in simultaneously.
The Downdetector site, which monitors Internet users' complaints about platform failures, received reports from at least the United States, Brazil, India, Portugal and other areas of Latin America and Europe.
The United States (7%), Brazil (6.6%) and Mexico (3%) generate the highest volumes of publications on Twitter related to the fall of Facebook, followed by Argentina (2.8%), Spain (2%) and Colombia (1.6%), said a report by the Big Data and Artificial Intelligence company QSocialNow.