×

Facebook Apologizes for Outages, Says It Has Resolved ‘Server Configuration’ Error That Led to Access Problems

Facebook is “very sorry” for what appeared to be the longest-ever rolling outage of its service: The social media giant apologized for a technical error that left many users globally unable to access apps for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp starting Wednesday and stretching into Thursday. The company said it has fixed the glitch.

About 24 hours after users began reporting problems with Facebook, Instagram and other apps, Facebook announced Thursday — on Twitter — that it had resolved the issues and that its systems are “recovering.”

“Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services. We’ve now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering,” the company said in a tweet. “We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience.”

A Facebook rep said Thursday at around 2 p.m. ET that the server configuration change triggered “a cascading series of issues” and that its systems “have been recovering over the last few hours.”

Facebook first acknowledged the problems in a tweet Wednesday at 1:49 p.m. ET, then said in a follow-up message that it was able to confirm the outages were not caused by distributed denial-of-service attack, in which networks are overloaded with bogus traffic designed to disrupt service.

Popular on Variety

Problems reported by users included the Facebook and Instagram apps’ not loading content or allowing them to share posts, while some said they were unable to log in. Some were shown a message saying Facebook was down for maintenance.

Facebook is considering issuing refunds to advertisers because of the downtime, Bloomberg reported. Outages for large internet platforms like Facebook or YouTube aren’t unusual, but in the past they have typically restored service within an hour or two.

Instagram, at around 12:40 a.m. ET Thursday, announced on Twitter (with an Oprah GIF) that service was restored. According to performance-monitoring company Catchpoint, Facebook apps appeared to running normally by around 10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday for users in the U.S. However, users in Asia and Europe reported that they were experiencing issues again early their time on Thursday.

The outages occurred as Facebook faces ongoing potential legal and regulatory repercussions after a series of damaging disclosures in the past year involving significant user-privacy breaches and revelations about the company’s questionable business practices.

In the latest development, U.S. prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into Facebook’s data partnerships, and a federal grand jury has subpoenaed records from “at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices,” the New York Times reported Wednesday. In a response, Facebook reiterated that it is cooperating with investigators.

More Digital

  • Aaron Pedersen (as Jay) & Jada

    Screen Australia Leads Call for Evolution of Industry Funding

    Screen Australia, the country’s federal support body, says the screen entertainment industry needs to come up with new business models in response to changes in audience behavior and the disruptive impact on content financing that has come from streaming. Public support bodies must change their relationships with the industry too, Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason [...]

  • A-ha!

    'A-ha: The Movie' on 'Take on Me' Band to Receive Worldwide Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    A feature documentary on Norwegian “Take On Me” singers A-ha will receive a worldwide release this November. “A-ha: The Movie,” distributed internationally by Esther van Messel’s First Hand Films, will be broadcast in theaters around the world on Nov. 26, with Germany’s Salzgeber releasing the film locally and First Hand Films handling the release in [...]

  • Vudu

    NBCUniversal in Talks to Buy Walmart's Vudu

    Comcast’s NBCUniversal is looking to add some Vudu into its streaming-video mix. The media conglomerate is in talks to buy Vudu, the Walmart-owned entertainment rental, download and free-streaming service, sources confirm to Variety. It’s unclear what the terms of the pact would be or the timing. News of NBCU’s interest in Vudu was first reported [...]

  • Tubi

    Fox in Talks to Acquire Free-Streaming Service Tubi for Over $500 Million (Report)

    Fox Corp. is in discussions about acquiring Tubi, the ad-supported free streaming service, in a deal worth more than $500 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing anonymous sources. With Tubi, Rupert Murdoch’s TV broadcasting and cable company would be adding a dedicated streaming component — offering over 20,000 older TV shows and [...]

  • Zombies 2 Disney Channel

    How Disney Channel's 'Zombies 2' Production Team Made Monsters Kid-Friendly

    Traditionally spooky creatures like zombies and werewolves get the Disney treatment in “Zombies 2,” the follow-up to the 2018 hit TV-movie musical of the same name. While the undead have now assimilated into the community of Seabrook, they’re confronted by a new set of outsiders: werewolves. Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly return as Zed and [...]

  • Baby Yoda - The Child Animatronic

    Hasbro's Adorable Baby Yoda Animatronic Toy Is Already Sold Out on Disney's Online Store

    The Force remains strong for toys based on Baby Yoda, the breakout star of Disney Plus original series “The Mandalorian.” Less than a day after becoming available for pre-order, Hasbro’s new $59.99 Baby Yoda animatronic toy is no longer available on Disney’s official online store: As of Friday morning, Shop Disney listed it as “sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content