WhatsApp is back after worldwide outage lasts 'a few hours' [Update]

Update 4:48pm PT: WhatsApp tells us it's back after a global outage rendered the messaing service inaccessible for more than two hours on Wednesday. Here's the company's official statement:

"Earlier today, WhatsApp users in all parts of the world were unable to access WhatsApp for a few hours," a spokesperson said. "We have now fixed the issue and apologize for the inconvenience."

There's still no word on what caused WhatsApp to go down, and we'll update this story if that information comes to light.

Most users appear to have no problem connecting to WhatsApp now, though DownDetector.com indicates there are still some affected areas. These should come back online shortly, so sit tight if you're unable to send or receive WhatsApp messages and calls.

Original story below...

WhatsApp went down around the world today, rendering the hugely popular messaging service unusable for more than two hours. The first reports something was amiss came in at 1:10pm PT, according to DownDetector.com.

Though WhatsApp is still recovering, it should be back to normal soon, the company tells us, and users are reporting WhatsApp's return on Twitter. However, some are still experiencing issues as WhatsApp makes its way back online.

We here at TechRadar's San Francisco office couldn't connect to WhatsApp when we attempted to around 3:15pm PT; our outgoing messages were stuck in limbo and we hadn't received a message in quite some time. We are now able to send and receive messages.

When asked about the outage, a WhatsApp spokesperson sent us the company's official statement: "WhatsApp is aware of the issue and working to fix it as soon as possible."

No further details, such as what caused the problem or just how widespread it is, were forthcoming. Don't look to the service's dormant Twitter account for answers, either.

WhatsApp is an immensely popular messaging platform around the globe, counting more than one billion monthly users. Earlier today Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed WhatsApp's new feature Status, akin to Snapchat Stories, has accumulated more than 175 million users in less than three months.

WhatsApp's woes follow another big internet story on Wednesday: a massive Google Docs phishing attack spread around the web, attempting to trick users into granting access to their Gmail accounts. 

Google quickly shut down the attack, though we recommend staying vigilant against suspicious emails. Hey, at least now you can send a WhatsApp message to warn your friends about it, right?

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.