Global Outage Disrupts WhatsApp and Instagram Services Worldwide

Meta Platforms-owned messaging applications, WhatsApp and Instagram, encountered a massive global outage on Wednesday afternoon, disrupting services for users worldwide. The outage, which began around 1:45 PM ET, left many unable to access the platforms or use WhatsApp Web. Instagram users also faced challenges in refreshing feeds and viewing stories due to the interconnected nature of the Meta-owned services.

Reports of the outage flooded in from users across the globe, as indicated by a significant spike in user-submitted error reports on Downdetector, a popular platform for monitoring web outages. The cause of this widespread disruption remains unclear, with early speculation pointing to a possible cyberattack, though no official confirmation has been provided until service restoration is underway.

This incident adds to a string of recent web service failures in 2024, reflecting a growing trend of app and service unreliability in recent weeks. As users sought alternative means of communication, even Facebook Messenger, another Meta-owned platform, proved inoperable on both web and app versions during the outage.

Notably, the timing of this outage coincides with a critical period for Taiwan and its surrounding regions, still reeling from the aftermath of a devastating typhoon that struck on Tuesday evening. With rescue efforts ongoing and communication vital, the disruption of key services like WhatsApp and Instagram could compound anxiety for individuals awaiting news from the affected areas.

Initial reports from India alone amassed 5,000 complaints within the first hour of the outage, indicating a widespread impact that quickly extended globally. Users took to social media to raise awareness and discuss the disruption, with the hashtag #whatsappdown gaining traction worldwide.

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