Facebook suffered a major outage 4 October which impacted its mobile and desktop sites, as well as its WhatsApp and Instagram applications.
Users attempting to reach the Facebook website received an error message, while those trying to access mobile apps saw stale content and a message stating “Couldn’t Refresh Feed”.
A source at Facebook told Mobile World Live the company’s internal systems were also out of service around midday in the US.
Down Detector, which tracks user-reported outages, showed complaints coming from most major US metropolitan areas, but the problems were global, with news outlets around the world reporting users were unable to access the sites.
The global outage came less than 24 hours after US news programme 60 Minutes revealed the identity of whistleblower Frances Haugen, who has publicised internal Facebook research related to the platform’s alleged amplification of political unrest, and the negative impacts Instagram can have on self-esteem for teens.
Facebook has experienced major outages in the past, once in 2019 and once in 2008, although not on this scale.
In addition, Facebook admitted last year its software development kit caused a number of iOS apps to malfunction.