On Monday evening, On Monday evening, Facebook announced the resumption of its applications on competitor platform Twitter and apologised to users for the global outage that affected millions of people.
After an hours-long worldwide outage that knocked off the Facebook-owned social media sites for six hours, Facebook, Instagram, and the widely used WhatsApp messaging service are gradually returning to normal.
Social media is used by 2.76 billion individuals who use one of Facebook’s family-owned services, such as WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, on a regular basis.
Why did Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp cease to function?
According to the New York Times, the issue was most likely caused by a misconfiguration of Facebook’s server equipment, which prevented users from connecting to major services such as Instagram and WhatsApp. The disruption was caused by “configuration changes on the backbone routers,” according to Santosh Janardhan, Facebook’s VP of infrastructure, in a blog post published late Monday.
Some of the services are still not entirely operational; for example, some users are currently experiencing difficulties publishing new content to Instagram.
“We apologise to the vast community of individuals and companies across the world who rely on us,” Facebook stated in a statement. “We’ve been working hard to restore access to our applications and services and are pleased to announce that they are fully operational. Thank you for your patience.”
All three platforms went down soon before noon ET, when the websites and applications for Facebook’s services displayed server problems. According to reports on DownDetector.com, the outages looked to be widespread, but how many people were unable to use the applications remained unknown.
The outage was caused by a DNS failure, according to ThousandEyes, a network monitoring service owned by Cisco. The DNS (Domain Name System) is an online phone book.
The outage was Facebook’s longest since 2008, when a glitch knocked the service offline for almost a day, affecting around 80 million users. The platform has 3 billion users at the moment.
In a message released on Twitter, Facebook’s chief technical officer, Mike Schroepfer, apologised.
“Sincere apologies to everyone who is now experiencing disruptions of Facebook-powered services,” Schroepfer stated. “We are having networking difficulties, and teams are working as quickly as possible to troubleshoot and restore.”
In 2019, a comparable outage lasted roughly an hour. The downtime was caused by a server configuration change, according to Facebook.
According to sources familiar with the situation, Facebook’s response was made much more difficult since staff lost access to several of their own tools during the outage.
According to one Facebook employee, all internal tools were unavailable.Several employees said they were not told what went wrong. According to estimates from ad measurement firm Standard Media Index, the social media behemoth was losing approximately $US545,000 ($747,000) in US ad revenue each hour during the downtime.
The figures are based on total ad expenditure on Facebook and Instagram by major advertising firms from January to August this year.
Facebook’s shares plummeted 4.9 percent in the United States on Monday, amid a larger selloff in technology equities. Facebook login has over 2 billion daily active users.
Why did it take so long to resolve the issue?
Facebook’s technological infrastructure, according to experts, is particularly reliant on its own systems, which proved devastating on Monday.
Following the disastrous routing modification, Facebook’s engineers were locked out of the mechanism that would allow them to convey that the update had been a mistake. As a result, they were unable to resolve the issue.
“Normally, it’s not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket,” said Pierre Bonis of AFNIC, the French domain name registry.”Facebook has had to focus its infrastructure extremely heavily for security reasons,” he explained.
“On a daily level, that simplifies things; but, because everything is in the same spot, nothing works when that place has a problem.” Some Facebook employees were unable to access their offices because their security badges had stopped working as a result of the downtime, delaying the response even further.
What about the consequences of the outage?
According to the Downdetector tracking service, “billions of people have been impacted by the services being completely offline” on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
Facebook’s stock dropped about 5% as a consequence of the outage, although the company claims there is “no indication that user data was stolen as a result of this disruption.”
Even though the closure was just for a few hours, it had a significant impact.Many companies throughout the world rely on Facebook’s services, and individuals have complained about being cut off from their livelihoods.
Facebook accounts are also often used to log in to other websites, which were further hampered by the company’s technological difficulties.
In the meantime, other instant messaging providers claimed that the downtime of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger had benefited them.Telegram jumped from 56th to fifth in the most downloaded free app in the US, according to tracking firm SensorTower, while Signal announced “millions” of new users.
Among the more unusual side effects, many domain name registration firms put Facebook.com for sale.
“There was never any reason to expect Facebook.com would really be sold as a consequence, but it’s fascinating to think about how many billions of dollars it could fetch on the free market,” cyber security expert Brian Krebs said.