December 7, 2022

Tech giant Meta says it’s resolved a WhatsApp outage that turned out to be brief. It had prevented many of the billions of users of the popular service from connecting or sending messages.

Meta issued a statement to CBS News saying, “We know people had trouble sending messages on WhatsApp today. We’ve fixed the issue and apologize for any inconvenience.”

Problems with the hugely popular service were reported by monitoring site Downdetector and by user complaints on social media on Tuesday morning.

Downdetector said thousands of WhatsApp users had been reporting problems since 2:17 a.m. EDT, with a sharp spike appearing on its dedicated chart covering the prior 24 hours.

Social media users said they were unable to connect to the app or send messages, although some reported a restoration of the service at around 3:50 a.m. EDT.

The hashtag #whatsappdown was one of the most trending on Twitter across the world on Tuesday, while millions of messages on Meta-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram also flagged the outage.

Some Twitter users tried to find a funny side to the technical trouble, joking that Twitter would seek to exploit the situation and gain a flurry of new connections in the coming hours.

The origin of the outage was unclear.

WhatsApp’s parent company Meta, formerly known as Facebook, suffered an unprecedented outage last year affecting its leading social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

The duration and scale of the disruption to the four services used by billions of people led to a major incident that Downdetector described as one of the largest ever observed.

At the time, Facebook acknowledged that the incident was due to an error on their part and not a technical problem.

WhatsApp, a free messaging service, crossed the threshold of two billion users worldwide in February 2020 and is one of the most popular apps.

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