Snapchat is FINALLY back up following a four-hour outage
Snapchat is finally back up and running after an outage that lasted almost four hours and left users around the world unable to send or receive photos.
According to Down Detector, the problems started at about 11:50 BST (06:50 ET), prompting thousands of complaints.
It wasn’t until 15:30 BST (10:30 ET) that Snapchat announced that the app was working as usual, tweeting: ‘The issue has been fixed! If you’re still having trouble, please let us know. Happy Snapping!’
Many users had reported difficulties logging in and sending pictures, with a number of them taking to Twitter to share their frustration.
Snapchat is finally back up and running after an outage that lasted almost four hours and left users around the world unable to send or receive photos
Many users complained and the outage was logged on the website Down Detector (pictured)
This map shows some of the countries where issues are being reported by Snapchat users
One wrote: ‘Everybody rushing to Twitter to see if Snapchat is down.’
Another added: ‘Snapchat down for anyone else?’
In response, the Snapchat Support Twitter account tweeted: ‘We’re aware that some Snapchatters are having issues using the app right now — hang tight, we’re looking into it!’
The US video-sharing app later tweeted that the problem had been resolved.
Cybersecurity expert Jake Moore warned that it was another example of why having a centralised, single back end for systems can cause widespread problems for social media companies.
‘This sort of problem is increasing in volume and scale due to the sheer size of some of these sites, and urgently needs to be addressed with better protection methods,’ he said.
‘Spreading infrastructural measures across different internal platforms can help mitigate the impact and risk, but unfortunately hindsight is a virtue with these platforms that have become so enormous.’
It comes just over a week after all Facebook-owned apps crashed for almost seven hours during a massive worldwide outage.
A number of Snapchat users have taken to Twitter to share their frustration about the outage
Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger went down on October 4 after a faulty update disconnected Facebook’s servers from the internet and brought all of its services to a halt.
But the repair was delayed because many staff are still working from home as a result of the Covid pandemic, according to one insider.
They said the glitch also brought down messaging services that remote-working staff use to communicate, so those who knew how to fix the servers couldn’t get that information to the teams inside the data centre.
In response to last week’s blackout, Instagram yesterday announced it was testing a new alert feature that will tell users when the app is down.
The social media network said the alert will appear as a notification in users’ Activity Feed when ‘people are confused and looking for answers’ because of an outage or technical issues.
Why DID Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger go down last week?
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were all brought down for almost seven hours last week in a massive global outage.
Problems began at around 16:45 BST (11:45 ET) on October 4, leaving users unable to access the three platforms, as well as Facebook Messenger and Oculus, for the rest of the evening.
Facebook, which owns all the services, blamed the outage on a bungled server update and said there was ‘no malicious activity’ behind it.
The US tech giant said the problem was caused by a faulty update that was sent to its core servers, which effectively disconnected them from the internet.
But what exactly went wrong and why did it take more almost seven hours to fix? Here is MailOnline’s breakdown of the issue…
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were all brought down for almost seven hours last week in a massive global outage. The US tech giant said the problem was caused by a faulty update, which effectively disconnected its services from the internet (pictured)
Why did Facebook go offline?
Facebook issued a statement saying the cause of the problem was a configuration change to the company’s ‘backbone routers’, which coordinate network traffic between the tech giant’s data centres.
‘This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt,’ the statement said.
Web security firm CloudFlare offered more details about what happened, revealing that Facebook had effectively vanished from the internet.
The social media company made a series of updates to its border gateway protocol (BGP), CloudFlare’s chief technology officer John Graham-Cunningham said, causing it to ‘disappear’.
The BGP allows for the exchange of routing information on the internet and takes people to the websites they want to access.
It is essentially the roadmap that transports you to the location of each website – known as the Domain Name System (DNS) – or its IP address.
As a consequence of the BGP problems, it meant DNS resolvers all over the world stopped resolving their domain names.
Why were Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger also down?
It wasn’t just Facebook that went offline – its associated services Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger were affected, too. Some people also reported issues with Facebook’s virtual reality headset platform, Oculus.
This is because the tech giant has a centralised, single back end for all of its products.
Downdetector, which tracks outages, said it was the biggest failure it has ever seen, with 10.6 million problem reports around the world. Pictured, the issues starting at 16:44 BST (11:44 ET) on October 4
Facebook runs its own systems through the same servers, meaning everything needed to fix the problem – from digital engineering tools to messaging services, even key-fob door locks – was also taken offline.
Matthew Hodgson, co-founder and CEO of Element and Technical Co-founder of Matrix, said the outage illustrated the advantage of having a ‘more reliable’ decentralised system that doesn’t put ‘all the eggs in one basket’.
‘There’s no single point of failure so they can withstand significant disruption and still keep people and businesses communicating,’ he added.
How many people were affected?
Downdetector, which tracks outages, said it was the biggest failure it has ever seen, with 10.6 million problem reports around the world.
In total, Facebook has 2.9 billion monthly active users.
Users around the world reported problems with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on Downdetector
The issues started at 16:44 BST (11:44 ET), with nearly 80,000 reports for WhatsApp and more than 50,000 for Facebook, according to DownDetector.
From around 22:30 BST (17:30 ET), some users were reporting that they were able to access the four platforms once again. However, Facebook did not work again for many people until at least an hour after that.
WhatsApp said it was back up at running ‘at 100 per cent’ as of 3:30 BST on Tuesday morning (22:30 ET Monday).
Why did it take so long to resolve the problem?
When Facebook’s platforms went offline, engineers rushed to the company’s data centres to reset the servers manually, only to find they couldn’t get inside.
New York Times’ technology reporter Sheera Frenkel told BBC’s Today programme this was part of the reason it took so long to fix the issue.
‘The people trying to figure out what this problem was couldn’t even physically get into the building’ to work out what had gone wrong, she said.
To make matters worse, one insider claimed the outage was further exacerbated because large numbers of staff are still working from home in the wake of Covid, meaning it took longer for them to get to the data centres.