UPDATED: A surge of users of Facebook and Instagram reported problems accessing the apps and websites on Thursday afternoon — the latest outage to hit the massive social media company. For most people, the services appeared to be back online and running normally within an hour.
Reports of technical issues for both Facebook-owned services spiked at about 5:15 p.m. ET on DownDetector.com. By 5:27 p.m. ET, the number of error reports for Instagram had hit nearly 90,000 while Facebook user reports were just over 140,000, according to DownDetector. The problems appeared to be mainly affecting users in the U.S.
“Earlier today, a configuration change caused Facebook services to be unavailable to some people,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We quickly investigated and resolved the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Some users saw an error message on Facebook’s website that said, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.” For others, the site failed to load. Instagram.com simply showed the Instagram logo, and that’s all (or failed to load), while the app displayed an error message that said “Couldn’t refresh feed.”
At 6:10 p.m. ET, the Instagram account on Twitter posted, “Is your #instagramdown? We know some people are having issues right now. We’re working on it and hope to have everything running smoothly as soon as possible.” At 6:33 p.m. ET, the account tweeted, “Aaaand we’re back.”
Aaaand we're back. pic.twitter.com/tQZUQpBvXE
— Instagram (@instagram) April 8, 2021
In reporting fourth quarter 2020 results, the social media giant said it had an average of 2.6 billion users across its family of apps for December 2020, and 1.84 billion of those were for Facebook.
The latest technical woes for Facebook come less than a month after a disruption briefly knocked out Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp on March 19.
In September 2020, Instagram was down for about an hour because of what Facebook said was an errant network-configuration change. And on Thanksgiving Day 2019, Instagram was down for more than four hours amid broader technical issues that affected the whole portfolio of Facebook-owned social apps.