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Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp all go down

WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook have all gone down in a major outage.

The three apps – which are all owned by Facebook, and run on shared infrastructure – all completely stopped working shortly before 5pm. Other products that are part of the same family of apps, such as Facebook Workplace, also stopped working, reports UK based the Independent.

Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Facebook, has recognised the issue and says it’s being worked on: “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

“Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can,” a message on the Facebook website said.

Visitors to the Facebook website simply saw an error page or a message that their browser could not connect. The WhatsApp and Instagram apps continued to work, but did not show new content, including any messages sent or received during the problems.

Facebook’s outages happen relatively rarely but tend to be vast in their impact, not least because they affect three of the world’s biggest apps.

The company is often cryptic about the causes of any issues, and does not tend to explain them even after they are fixed. In 2019, for instance, it suffered its biggest outage in years – and said only that it had “triggered an issue” during “routine maintenance operations”.