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Facebook and Instagram down - updates: Meta gives reason for worldwide outage today

Facebook and Instagram have been hit by a worldwide outage that has left potentially millions of people unable to access their accounts.

Users found they were mysteriously logged out and not able to log back in, or could not open the app at all.

The outage appears to be global, according to tracking website Down Detector.

Follow for the latest on the ongoing outage.

Key Points

  • You have (probably) not been hacked

  • Other services show problems

  • Meta acknowledges issues

Read our full story on the outage here

16:31 , Andrew Griffin

You can read our storage on the outage by clicking here.

Meta apologises and thanks users

17:38 , Andrew Griffin

In a post on its official account, Meta has apologised to users and thanked them for their patience.

Outage was not a cyber attack

17:29 , Andrew Griffin

#CyberAttack is trending on Twitter and many are expressing panic that their accounts have been hacked.

But there is no reason to think it was anything other than a standard (if very dramatic) technical problem caused by Meta itself. And that is what the company has seemingly indicated (see below).

Meta spokesperson says problem is resolved

17:22 , Andrew Griffin

Andy Stone, Meta spokesperson, has said that the problem is resolved.

‘Recovering from disruptions'

17:21 , Andrew Griffin

Meta’s business status page is now showing most of its services as “Recovering from disruptions”.

While it doesn’t run a similar page for its consumer products, you can imagine it would say the same: services appear to be recovering, even if they are not fully back yet.

Services appear to be coming back online – but problems remain

16:56 , Andrew Griffin

While numerous people are finding themselves able to get online, problems still remain. Some can’t get online or are having other problems.

Tracking website Down Detector shows an decrease in reports of problems – but, again, they’ve not gone away entirely.

And the Meta status page for business products is no longer yellow (as below) but some are turning green, to indicate “no known issues”, and some are turning red, for “major disruptions”.

Elon Musk continues to mock Meta

16:32 , Andrew Griffin

Meta spokesperson Andy Stone has posted that Meta is aware of the outage. Elon Musk appears to be making fun of him.

Services appear to be coming back online

16:27 , Andrew Griffin

Multiple people are reporting that they’re able to log back in again, in various parts of the world. It looks like Meta’s products are coming back online.

(Some note that they’re able to get online on their phone but not on their PC, for example; if you’re still seeing error messages or other problems, and are desperate to get online, it might be worth checking on your other devices.)

Meta’s status page turns yellow

16:25 , Andrew Griffin

I noted earlier (here) that Meta had updated its status page to reflect the outage. Now the whole thing has turned yellow, with the status of the entirety of Meta’s business products seemingly being “unknown”.

 (Meta)
(Meta)

Elon Musk mocks outage

16:21 , Andrew Griffin

Elon Musk has posted, seemingly in response to the outage.

When Mr Musk took over X/Twitter, in late 2022, there was much speculation about whether the layoffs and other changes he made would bring new outages.

The site has sometimes gone down – notably doing so late last year, for instance – but has mostly worked in the time since.

Meta probably wants an undo button

16:15 , Andrew Griffin

The outage at Instagram came just a day after it announced that it will be letting people edit and undo their DMs. Meta introduced it yesterday with a message that might be the exact words someone at its headquarters are saying to themselves now.

(Little errors have caused big problems at Meta before. In 2021 it said that a huge outage was the result of a single wrong command that took its “backbone” offline.)

‘Session logged out'

16:00 , Andrew Griffin

You’re probably not being hacked. On Twitter/X, people are expressing concern that the technical problems are the result of a cyber attack, or them having their account stolen – which isn’t helped by the fact that Facebook shows an ominous “session logged out” warning.

That appears to be the result of the outage, and the problems with logging into Facebook that it has brought, however.

Other platforms showing problems at Down Detector

15:59 , Andrew Griffin

Some are noting that other big platforms – including YouTube and Gmail – appear to be showing issues on tracking website Down Detector.

But that’s probably because of the way Down Detector tracks outages, which is by using automated systems that look for clues on Twitter/X and elsewhere. That sometimes means that when there’s a very big outage, it can look like there are problems elsewhere too.

(This happened with the recent AT&T outage, when other carriers and platforms appeared to have problems. But it was in fact just people complaining about that outage – and finding that it meant they could not text people on other networks, or get onto online services.)

Meta business page updates to reflect outage

15:52 , Andrew Griffin

Meta doesn’t have an official status page for platforms such as Facebook, Messenger or Instagram. But it does have one for the businesses that rely on them.

Initially, that had shown no problems. Now, however, it has updated to reflect the outage.

It shows there are problems at “Meta Admin Center”, which is used for the company’s business tools. It also shows problems with its developer platform, including the Facebook Login tool and its WhatsApp and Marketing tools.

Hello and welcome...

15:47 , Andrew Griffin

... to our live coverage of a major outage at Meta.