Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are down for users around the world, with the first report of problems coming in two hours ago.
According to DownDetector, the issues started at around 16:44 BST (11:44 ET), with tens of thousands of users reporting problems connecting.
NetBlocks, which tracks internet outages and their impact, estimate the two hour plus outage has already cost the global economy $160m (£117 million), and sent the Facebook share price down by more than five per cent.
The exact cause of the outage is still unclear, but Dane Knecht, Senior VP of Cloudflare, says the Facebook Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes, used by networks to deliver internet traffic, have been ‘withdrawn from the internet.’
Cybersecurty expert, Kevin Beaumont, wrote on Twitter: ‘This one looks like a pretty epic configuration error, Facebook basically don’t exist on the internet right now. Even their authoritative name server ranges have been BGP withdrawn.’
The three social media services, all owned by Facebook, run on a shared back end infrastructure, creating a ‘single point of failure’ according to experts.
It wasn’t just the main Facebook apps going down, other services, including Facebook Workplace and the Oculus website were also down.
There have been a number of social media outages in recent months, with Instagram going down for 16 hours just last month, and all Facebook platforms down in June.
On Twitter, Facebook communications executive, Andy Stone said they were aware some people were having trouble accessing Facebook apps and products.
‘We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,’ the executive said in a tweet.
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