— Артур (@_rilhut_) April 8, 2021
Facebook and Instagram went down on Thursday afternoon, and users turned to Twitter to express their grievances. The outage started around 5:30 pm ET on April 8; this marks the second site outage in less than a month for Facebook.
One user wrote on Twitter, “Facebook down, Instagram down, Twitter is about to light up!”
Another user wrote, “Is it me or Facebook is down?”
Facebook is down?
— Jacob LaBelle (@JakeLaBelle) April 8, 2021
Those trying to refresh their feed on Instagram noticed a note at the bottom of the screen that read, “Couldn’t refresh feed.” And logging onto Facebook presented users with a message that read, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.”
The website Downdetector, however, noted a spike in the number of Facebook outages reported around 2pm PT on Thursday.
It is not clear at the time of publication what has caused these problems.
Heavy is currently investigating these issues and this post will be updated with information as soon as it becomes available.
Here’s what you need to know:
Previous Issues With Instagram & Facebook
In 2019, The Verge published an article addressing the trend with Facebook’s websites being down, noting that, “In July, the company experienced a day-long outage across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. That followed the company’s worst-ever outage in March, which lasted more than 24 hours.”
In July 2019, Facebook explained these outages by writing that “routine maintenance had ‘triggered an issue'” with the site.
However, when The Verge dove deeper into the root of the problem, they reported that “the basic answer is that Facebook’s massive size means that even small changes have hugely unpredictable effects, and can bring down the entire network.”
When the outlet directly asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg if the problem was a “reliability issue”, he replied:
I’m glad that this is the top question, because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a bunch. We’ve had more downtime this year than the last few years combined. And it is an issue, and especially as we move towards more services in the private social platform area around messaging, that’s such a core utility to people that it’s really important that these services are reliable. Even from just a competition standpoint, what we see is that when we have downtimes in WhatsApp or Instagram Direct, there are people who just don’t come back. They may move their messaging behavior over to iMessage or Telegram or whatever the service is and that’s kind of it.
Zuckerberg finished by admitting, “… it’s certainly trending worse than it should be. And we need to make sure we do better on this.”
Facebook Users Per Month
According to Statista, Facebook reported over 2.7 billion monthly active users during the second quarter of 2020, securing its title as the “biggest social network worldwide.”
And during the last quarter of 2020, Facebook reported 3.14 billion people as using one of its core products, which include the Facebook website, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger.
In the 4th quarter of 2020, Facebook raked in almost 1.85 billion active users daily.
This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available.