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WhatsApp had a huge outage yesterday — here's what happened

Problems with the instant messaging service began at around 6pm UK time on Wednesday (AFP via Getty Images)
Problems with the instant messaging service began at around 6pm UK time on Wednesday (AFP via Getty Images)

WhatsApp was down on Wednesday for thousands of people worldwide.

Problems with the instant messaging service began at around 6pm UK time.

The UK site Downdetector, which monitors the performance of websites, highlighted around 82,000 issues with WhatsApp at 6.25pm.

Facebook and Instagram also went down, with users reporting issues viewing and creating posts. Instagram users reported around 3,700 outages at 6.20pm, while those on Facebook reported 1,840 outages at 6.23pm.

Nearly 3,500 users in India and more than 7,000 in Brazil also experienced issues with the platform, according to Downdetector.

Soon after the issues had started, users appeared to be able to get back online. However, some said the platforms were slower to work than usual.

What happened?

WhatsApp owner Meta confirmed the issue via a status page for its business Application Programming Interface (APIs), software intermediaries that allow two applications to talk to each other. Meta said the outage also affected APIs connecting to Facebook Messenger and Instagram, suggesting hacking did not cause the issue.

Meta, which owns WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, has not said how or why the outages happened.

WhatsApp also said in a post on X, formerly Twitter: "We know some people are experiencing issues right now, we're working on getting things back to 100% for everyone as quickly as possible."

The issue came only weeks after a huge Meta outage locked users out of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Threads. This lasted around two hours but did not impact WhatsApp however.

On Tuesday, March 5, Facebook, Instagram, and Threads were down, leading users to see error messages that “something went wrong”. Some were taken to a landing page where they were logged out and couldn’t get back in.

This outage lasted a couple of hours before the apps came back online.