Here’s why Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp suffered major outage yesterday

Highlights
  • Facebook cites a “faulty configuration change” responsible for the Monday outage.
  • The outage stretched to almost six hours.
  • Facebook lost 4.9 percent of stock valuation and approx Rs 4 crore of ad revenue every hour.

A massive outage yesterday stalled a suite of Facebook apps, including Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp for almost six hours. Facebook has now officially cited in a blog post the reason for the outage. Facebook employees who chose to remain unnamed had told Reuters that the outage was an outcome of an internal mistake in how Internet traffic is routed into its system. Bloomberg reported that Mark Zuckerberg’s personal valuation dropped by more than USD 6 billion as Facebook stocks fell by 4.9 percent adding up to a 15 percent drop since September 2021. Zuckerberg also dropped below Bill Gates to settle at the No. 6 spot on the Forbes Real Time Billionaires List. 

Facebook outage due to a “faulty configuration change”

Facebook and all the apps under its umbrella faced a six-hour-long outage rendering users helpless as they were unable to use the applications. This outage was noticed on Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram also. In an official statement issued via a blog post, Facebook has held responsible for a “faulty configuration change” for the incident. However, many Facebook employees, whose identities have been kept a secret upon request, told Reuter that this outage was courtesy of an internal mistake surrounding how the internet traffic is handled in the system. Certain internal communication tools and other resources that depend on the network also failed and thus compounded the consequences of the error further. Security experts have shed light on the matter stating the possibility of an inadvertent mistake or sabotage by an insider. 

Facebook’s Monday outage is the largest ever tracked by the website monitoring group called the Downdetector. According to ad measurement firm Standard Media Index, Facebook lost about $545,000 ( ~ Rs. 4 crores) every hour in Ad revenue as the site was down. Troubles were also built up further for various small businesses which depended on Facebook’s vast array of business features. User’s flocked to apps like Twitter and TikTok during the time and reported the outage on these social media platforms.