Facebook apologizes, explains the cause of its massive outage

Facebook logo on a Pixel 4 XL
Facebook logo on a Pixel 4 XL (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Update, Oct 5 (16:45 ET): Facebook explains what went wrong

Update, Oct 4 (18:45 ET): Facebook services recovering from outage

If you're having issues sending or receiving messages on WhatsApp, you're not the only one. The Facebook-owned messaging platform seems to be down, and it's not the only one; Instagram and Facebook are seeing outages as well, with users around the world unable to refresh their news feed or see messages.

I'm not able to send or receive messages in WhatsApp, my Instagram feed isn't loading, and I'm not able to access Messenger. This isn't the first time Facebook services went down in recent months, and at this moment, it's unclear what's causing the issue. From the error message, it looks like a configuration issue with DNS servers.

According to Downdetector, users from all over the world are having issues connecting to Facebook services, so it isn't an isolated incident. Ironically, Facebook's status page is also inaccessible, so whatever is going on, the issue is affecting all of the social networking site's servers. Even Oculus is affected as it uses the same servers as other Facebook services.

Facebook posted on Twitter that it is aware of the issue and that a fix is underway:

I've reached out to Facebook and will update this post once I hear back. The last time the site had a global outage, it was around a DNS configuration issue that prevented its services from being able to talk to Facebook's servers. It looks like that's once again the case, but once we hear back from Facebook around what's actually going on, we won't know for sure. What is clear at the moment is that the outage took out all of Facebook's servers.

Update, Oct 5 (16:45 ET) ― Facebook apologizes for outage

Facebook issued an apology to its users after the massive October 4 outage that left its various services unusable around the world.

Santosh Janardhan, Facebook's vice president of Engineering and Infrastructure, explained that faulty "configuration changes" to routers that coordinate traffic between the company's data centers were behind the outage. This brought down its consumer-facing services as well as its internal systems, which is why the outage took so long to fix.

Janardhan also apologized while acknowledging the consumers and businesses that rely on its services globally.

We understand the impact that outages like these have on people's lives, as well as our responsibility to keep people informed about disruptions to our services.

He assured, however, that no user data was compromised while services were down.

Update, Oct 4 (18:45 ET) ― Facebook says its services are coming back online

After more than a few hours, Facebook appears to be making some recovery as the main app, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, start coming back online.

Facebook posted the update on their Twitter account, apologizing to users for the inconvenience:

Fortunately, you should be able to start using the apps again, although they don't appear to be fully functioning just yet.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.