Update: Facebook has confirmed that the outage was due to a technical problem caused by a server configuration change. A spokesperson said that systems are now recovering, and apologized for the inconvenience. Original story follows
A day after outages began, some users of Facebook's family of apps are still unable to use them as normal. Nearly all of Facebook’s services, including WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and even the Oculus Store were affected by the problems, which began on Wednesday and have continued into Thursday.
Instagram has since announced that its services are now fully restored, but DownDetector's live outage map shows some parts of Europe still facing issues, and users have reported being unable to post updates and replies.
TechRadar reached out to Facebook for a comment, but the company has so far only been able to confirm that it's working on a solution.
"We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps," said a Facebook spokesperson. "We're focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm the issue is not related to a DDoS attack."
Anyone affected by Facebook’s outage was faced with an error message on the login page that reads, “Facebook is down for required maintenance right now but you should be able to get back on within a few minutes. In the meantime, read more about why you’re seeing this message. Thanks for your patience as we improve the site.”
Facebook Messenger, while working perfectly fine for some, was down for others. We checked a few accounts here at TechRadar and found a mixed bag – some were fully functional on both desktop and mobile, while others were either working on desktop only, and some on mobile only.
Instagram, too, was not loading for many users around the world, with notifications showing up stating “something went wrong” when trying to refresh the feed.
The apps aren’t completely down for everyone, though. Some users could open the apps but many complained that they were unable to post anything, or even like other people’s posts.
Although WhatsApp seemed to be working for the most part, many users in India, Bangladesh, Paraguay and Argentina were unable to send photos via the app.
WhatsApp is experiencing server issues to send media, for some users. This afflicts Facebook and Instagram too.Let me know if you experience problems!March 13, 2019
The Verge reported that some users are unable to make purchases through the Oculus Store or log into multiplayer games purchased for their Oculus headsets.
Not a DDoS attack, says Facebook
After acknowledging there is an issue, Facebook also made it clear, via Twitter of course, that the company was not facing a DDoS attack. A distributed denial-of-service attack happens when someone is trying to interrupt the regular flow of traffic flowing through a network. This can happen when infrastructure is flooded with a staggering amount of traffic that can bring the system down on its knees.
We're focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.March 13, 2019
According to Downdetector – the website that shows realtime outages on different kinds of services around the world – the problem does seem widespread with most users facing complete shutdown of services.
At one point, 47% of users were facing a total blackout, but at the time of writing that was down to 32%. Also at the time of writing, 34% of users were unable to log into Facebook services, while 33% were able to open Facebook but had no other functionality available to them.