Shortly before 5pm yesterday, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook all went down in a major shutdown. The shutdown, which occurred not only in Ghana but globally, saw users of the three apps unable to access or use the programs on their computers and mobile devices.
Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp Shutdown
“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,” said an international media outlet.
Users attempting to access Facebook were being shown a message saying the site “can’t be reached”, while Facebook’s sister site Instagram displayed a “5xx Server Error”.
Whatsapp and Instagram mobile apps continued to work but did not show new content, including any messages sent or received.
“We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment. We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible,” a statement on Whatsapp Twitter account read.
Reason for Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram shutdown
Facebook has not come out with a clear explanation for the crash, however, most tech experts say it was a result of a DNS (Domain Name System) error.
DNS translates human-readable hostnames (like Facebook.com) to numeric IP addresses so that the computer can access the data that makes up the page you want to be displayed. In other words, given yesterday’s outage, the computer could not access the numeric IP address to churn out the data for display.
The Apps work a little differently. With the Apps, users will be able to see existing content, however, new content will not materialize since Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram servers could not be accessed.
Some experts also say the outage goes beyond Facebook’s DNS failures. They argue that even if it is as a result of DNS failure, there was an underlying cause, which could either be as a result of a physical outage at a server or stray settings.
Other past outages of Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram
In March of 2019, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp stopped working for more than 24 hours. Facebook only attributed the outage to a “server configuration change.” Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg at the time noted how the outage was a “big deal.”
This is because the outage will be an indication of a lack of reliability on the platform, which will cause users to switch to its competitors.
Many users have turned to Facebook and its sister applications (WhatsApp and Instagram) to boost their business productivity. With the potential to make over USD1,000.00 weekly sales per week, via the platforms, users demand Facebook and its sister applications to remain stable. Since time is money, users may not want to rely on an app that is unstable.