Facebook did the unthinkable late Monday night — it went down. The social media site and the photo-sharing app Instagram mysteriously stopped working, leaving users scrambling to fulfill their online communication needs. Perhaps not surprisingly, many went to Twitter, where the hashtag #FacebookDown built up a bevy of comments and pictures, all with 140 characters or less.
— Comedy Central UK (@ComedyCentralUK) January 27, 2015
All Birthdays have been canceled until future notice #facebookdown
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) January 27, 2015
— Damien Willis (@damienwillis) January 27, 2015
Luckily I keep a large photo album of random babies for just this occasion. #facebookdown
— Brendan Maclean (@macleanbrendan) January 27, 2015
— Eve Beauregard (@Eve_Beauregard) January 27, 2015
TechCrunch was quick to report that the Facebook outage affected not only the site itself both other services that rely on a Facebook login. Those looking to connect on Tinder would have to wait until Facebook came back online. Writer Jon Russell had some advice for those who were suddenly unhooked from their Facebook and Instagram services.
“[W]hy turn not to another social network, open a book, strike up a conversation with someone in person, go outside (unless you are in New York)… etc, you get the idea.”
The people of New York are, of course, dealing with a severe weather alert that has sparked states of emergency across several states.
While users diverted their attention away from Facebook and Instagram, the sites were also using Twitter to say they were on it, lest users stay away for too long.
We’re aware of an outage affecting Instagram and are working on a fix. Thank you for your patience.
— Instagram (@instagram) January 27, 2015
TechCrunch also reported that WhatsApp was working fine despite the fact that it is owned by Facebook. The outage therefore did not appear to have been system-wide.
A Facebook outage in August 2014 prompted calls to 911. According to The Register, law enforcement were so perturbed they took to Twitter to tell people they did not know when Facebook would be working again. The social-media site also went down twice in September, 2014.
According to The Next Web, the outage on Monday night lasted for approximately one hour before Facebook was back online.
[Lead image via Electric Literature.]