STOCK Facebook, Instagram and mobile messaging service WhatsApp
People in many places discovered that Facebook and its apps had burrowed their way into nearly every facet of existence. Image Credit: AFP

For more than five hours Monday, the world got a taste of life without Facebook and its apps.

People in many places discovered that Facebook and its apps had burrowed their way into nearly every facet of existence.

In Mexico, politicians were cut off from their constituents. In Turkey, shopkeepers could not sell their wares. And in Colombia, a nonprofit organisation that uses WhatsApp to connect victims of gender-based violence to lifesaving services found its work impaired.

In Brussels, the hub of the EU - where many government workers have turned to the rival messaging service Signal to communicate amid concerns about Facebook's reach - the outage led to a fresh round of calls for more oversight of the biggest tech platforms.

People in India and other Asian countries where Facebook's apps are popular largely slept through the outage, which occurred overnight for them.

2.76 billion people on average used at least one Facebook product
Worldwide, 2.76 billion people on average used at least one Facebook product each day this June, according to the company's statistics. WhatsApp is used to send more than 100 billion messages a day and has been downloaded nearly 6 billion times since Facebook bought it in 2014, according to estimates from the data firm Sensor Tower.
India accounted for about one-quarter of those installations, while another quarter was in Latin America, according to Sensor Tower. Just 4%, or 238 million downloads, were in the United States.
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Image Credit: Jay Hilotin/Gulf News

Millions flock to Signal and Telegram after Facebook outage

Signal and Telegram, two private messenger apps, saw downloads and user sign-ups soar during the extended downtime of Facebook Inc.'s network of apps and services.

Millions of new users joined the Edward Snowden-endorsed Signal on Monday, it said on Twitter. Telegram, whose functionality closely mirrors that of WhatsApp, surged 55 places to top the US iPhone download chart, according to Sensor Tower.

Facebook suffered a six-hour outage that spanned its WhatsApp messenger, the main social network and photo-sharing app Instagram, shutting out many of its 2.7 billion global users. The situation idled some of the company's employees and prompted a public apology from Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook's loss turned into a gain for other social media. Twitter Inc.'s network stayed online, with Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey tweeting his endorsement of Signal as a suitable WhatsApp alternative and amplifying Snowden's urging of his followers to move away from the Facebook-owned app. Thousands of rooms on audio-chat app Clubhouse had people talking about the outage, a spokeswoman for the service said, adding that all its main metrics rose.

Facebook outage leaves players twiddling their thumbs

Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura joked that Monday's near six-hour social media outage meant he finally had a chance to connect with his wife, while Everton's Richarlison saw a fresh opening for carrier pigeons, as soccer players saw the funny side of the blackout.

Facebook Inc blamed a 'faulty configuration change' for the interruption that prevented the company's 3.5 billion users from accessing its social media and messaging services such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

Players have increasingly harnessed the reach of social media to engage with fans and build their brands, so the outage left many of them twiddling their thumbs.

Posting on the unaffected Twitter, Moura said: "With the fall of WhatsApp and Instagram I was able to talk a little with my wife." Richarlison, who has more than 660,000 followers on Twitter, posted images of carrier pigeons with the caption: "Now you guys want my services right?" Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger tweeted a short video of himself celebrating with the caption: "When you realize your SMS flat-rate finally makes sense again #whatsappdown." When normal service was resumed Preston North End forward Connor Wickham was delighted.

"Buzzin' my WhatsApp is back," he told his more than 108,000 Twitter followers.

Facebook advances in premarket after hours-long service outage

Facebook Inc. climbed in US premarket trading after an hours-long service outage that the company blamed on a problem with its network configuration. The stock gained 1% to $329.40 at 4:02 am in New York, paring a 4.9% slump Monday tied to the service failure of its main app as well as Instagram and WhatsApp.

The downtime added to the pressure on the shares, which have fallen 15% from their record high on Sept. 7 through Monday's close. A former employee accused the company of prioritising profits over user safety. She has handed thousands of damning documents to US lawmakers and the Wall Street Journal, which wrote articles last month on Facebook's struggles with content moderation and Instagram's negative psychological effect on teenagers.

Here's what Facebook says triggered the massive outage on its apps

Facebook Inc. blamed a global service outage that kept its social media apps offline for much of Monday on a problem with its network configuration, adding that it found no evidence that user data was compromised during the downtime.

Facebook outages reported in the last 24 hours
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"Configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication,"

the company wrote in a blog post Monday night. "This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt."

Instagram outages reported in the last 24 hours
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The issue took Facebook's core social network, its photo app Instagram and its WhatsApp messenger offline for hours.

Facebook's internal tools, communications and systems were also impacted by the service disruption, adding to the challenge for engineers working to identify and resolve the issue. Its internal work product, Workplace, was also affected. Fixing the underlying problem involved visiting a physical server facility and manually resetting some servers, a spokesman said.

Whatsapp outages reported in the last 24 hours
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"To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I'm sorry,"

Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer tweeted Monday afternoon. His apology was reiterated by Facebook's engineering blog.

With input from NYT, Bloomberg, Agencies