Outage hits Facebook, Instagram users worldwide; Singapore affected

PHOTO: The Straits Times

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook and Instagram users lost access to the social network's applications in parts of the world on Wednesday (March 13) as a result of an outage of undetermined origin.

The California giant, which has more than two billion users, acknowledged the outage after users noted on Twitter they could not access Facebook or had limited functionality.

User problems ranged from being unable to load the site to not being able to post comments. Some users' also got a message saying "Account Temporarily Unavailable" when trying to load the app.

The problem was experienced by users in Singapore as well.

"We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible," a Facebook statement said on Twitter.

A short time later, Facebook indicated the outage was not related to an attack aimed at overwhelming the network.

"We're focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack," Facebook said, referring to what is known as a distributed denial of service cyber strike.

Facebook outages around the world according, to downdetector.com. Photo: Screengrab/DownDectector
Instagram outages around the world, according to downdetector.comPhoto: Screengrab/DownDectector

According to the website downdetector.com, outages were heaviest in North America and Europe, but some users appeared to be affected in other regions.

Last November, a Facebook outage was attributed to a server problem and a September 2018 outage was said to be the result of "networking issues".

Facebook outages can cost big money: technical problems with the site pose serious problems for advertisers.

In the November outage, a tool for advertisers went down at a time when many were trying to place ads for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping extravaganzas.

Problems with Facebook can also put other sites and apps out of action, since many rely on users logging in with their Facebook accounts. In 2013, a glitch prevented users from logging into websites including The New York Times and CNN for a few minutes.

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