UPDATED: Instagram was evidently hit by widespread technical problems Thursday, with users reporting issues including the inability to log in or access their feed. The issues appeared to be mostly resolved in under an hour, with Facebook blaming an errant network-configuration change.
According to DownDetector.com, user reports of errors on Instagram began spiking just after 2 p.m. ET, with more than 75,000 problems reported as of 2:17 p.m. The problems appeared most prevalent in the U.S. — in the Northeast and in Southern California — with some reports originating out of Europe and other parts of the world.
By 2:35 p.m. ET, problem reports had subsided to about 5,000, suggesting that Instagram had begun recovering from the outages; as of 3 p.m., those were down to just over 1,000. According to Facebook, Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users globally.
Facebook users were also reporting issues Thursday via DownDetector but with fewer overall incidents.
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A Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement, “Earlier today some people may have had trouble accessing our family of apps due to a network configuration change. This issue has since been resolved, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
The Instagram outage was related to a problem on application back-end servers, according to ThousandEyes, an internet performance-monitoring firm, which said it didn’t detect any packet loss on the network paths to Facebook’s edge servers during the incident. The problems started at approximately 2:10 p.m. ET; service began to resolve for some users five minutes later before the issue was fully resolved around 2:40 p.m. PT.
Of the Instagram user reports on DownDetector, 76% were about problems accessing news feed, 15% related to issues accessing the website and 8% were about problems logging in.
Like any internet service, Instagram has sporadically experience extended outages. For example, on Thanksgiving Day 2019, Instagram was down for more than four hours as part of broader technical issues that affected the entire portfolio of Facebook-owned social apps. In March 2019, Facebook apologized for a technical error that left many users globally unable to access apps for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp in a rolling outage that lasted around 24 hours.