Facebook users around the world reported issues logging into and posting on the site as well as on Instagram and WhatsApp throughout the day on Wednesday. Facebook did not give a reason for the outage, and provided minimal information other than acknowledging it is aware services are down in some areas.
Facebook shares were relatively unchanged Wednesday afternoon.
The company acknowledged the outage in a tweet Wednesday, saying, “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
It later confirmed the problem was not the result of a DDoS attack, which refers to a Distributed Denial-of-Service attack in which a hacker overwhelms a site by flooding it with fake traffic.
We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
— Facebook (@facebook) March 13, 2019
Reports of problems with Facebook peaked at over 11,000 worldwide according to Downdetector, a website where users can report problems on apps and websites. Downdetector listed zero problems by about 5 p.m. Eastern, and many people reported their access had been restored, but Facebook has not yet confirmed the issues were resolved.
Users reported a variety of problems, from being unable to load the site at all to not being able to post comments. Facebook users posted screenshots on Twitter showing error messages when they tried to load the app. When loading the site, some users’ got a message on the screen saying “Account Temporarily Unavailable.”
At a Facebook event at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas Wednesday, the company’s head of video products cracked a joke when he ran into technical issues.
“Today is the technical difficulties day for Facebook, I guess,” cracked Paresh Rajwat, in a reference to the company’s worldwide service outage when his presentation’s video failed to include audio. Rajwat was announcing new features for Facebook’s Watch video service.
— Lady_of_Glencairn (@IWLadyGlencairn) March 13, 2019
Technical issues with Facebook have historically posed serious problems for advertisers who use the platform and even other websites.
Facebook previously experienced an outage of its tool for advertisers in November at a time when marketers were trying to place ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In 2013, Facebook experienced a glitch which took several websites down with it thanks to the prevalence of its login feature across the internet. When users tried to log into a website with their Facebook profile, they were directed to a Facebook error page, Business Insider reported at the time. The glitch, which only lasted a few minutes, affected websites including The New York Times and CNN, Business Insider reported.