Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram suffer worldwide outage

It’s easy to lose sight of Facebook’s reach amid the tumult of Monday’s outage. The inability to upload a new photo to Instagram is inconvenient, but it isn’t necessarily fatal.

However, losing Facebook’s encrypted messaging service is a life-changing change for WhatsApp users, especially outside of the United States, and one that competing messaging providers were quick to seize on today.

WhatsApp stated in February of last year that it reached 2 billion users worldwide. When you compare that to Facebook’s 2.5 billion users, it’s clear how many lives WhatsApp impacts.

It has become the preferred mode of communication in a number of nations, including India, which has about 400 million unique monthly users. Bloomberg contributes to this article. WhatsApp is also focusing on becoming a key corporate tool, which extends beyond informal communication.

In Brazil and India, the app already accepts in-app payments. Furthermore, WhatsApp stated in October 2020 that 175 million individuals around the world utilized the app every day to message businesses.

Calls and messages to friends and relatives may go unanswered, customer service inquiries may go ignored, and essential organizing information may go unshared if WhatsApp is unavailable. Unless it’s restricted, the secret messaging software is frequently used by organizers to lead demonstrations and protests.

A WhatsApp outage is a major inconvenience for those who rely on it, but it could be a benefit for other encrypted messaging apps. Signal, Telegram, and, at least in the United States, iMessage, all poised to benefit if Facebook and WhatsApp falter. So far, only Signal has taken a victory lap in front of the public.

The Verge was unable to obtain particular data from the company, but it was revealed that Signal was seeing “on par with January of this year” levels of new sign-ups.

I’ll point out that this is the same month that WhatsApp released its contentious new privacy policy for business messaging, and Facebook as a whole came under fire for its possible role in the Capitol rioting on January 6th. A request for comment from Telegram and Apple was not immediately returned.

Facebook is working to restore its services, and it will be some time before we know exactly how many individuals were affected by the outage. For the time being, though, it’s reasonable to say it was a lot more aggravating than not being able to update your tale.


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