Globally-available instant messaging service WhatsApp went down today around 3 a.m. Eastern Time. The service was back online two hours later, around 5 a.m. Eastern Time, which is quite a long time given the service’s role in global communication.
Users reported being unable to use WhatsApp services for either messaging or calls, mobile apps, and the web. Some were stuck with an infinite “connecting” message, while others got the error that asked them to “make sure your computer has an active internet connection.” Of course, neither the internet connection nor the users’ devices were at fault.
According to DownDetector (a site for tracking outages across the web), most reports of issues with the app started around 3 a.m. Eastern Time. While few people were likely impacted on the eastern seaboard, WhatsApp’s massive userbase in Europe, parts of Africa, and Asia noticed that the service was unavailable.
Users as far as South Korea and India indicated they were having problems with accessing WhatsApp. Aside from the users from Europe, especially the UK where WhatsApp is one of the most prominently used instant messaging services, they were the ones who felt the downtime the most.
Internet service outages are usually restored in a matter of minutes, suggesting that the issues plaguing WhatsApp today could be quite significant in scope. So far, Meta hasn’t made any announcements regarding the reason for today’s outage.
“We know people had trouble sending messages on WhatsApp today. We’ve fixed the issue and apologize for any inconvenience,” says Meta spokesperson Joshua Breckman in a statement.