Facebook and Instagram are down. Here's what we know

Facebook and Instagram are down. Here's what we know
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Social media giants Facebook and Instagram are experiencing a widespread outage, affecting millions of users worldwide. Reports began surfacing around 10:00 AM ET on Tuesday, March 5th, with users encountering difficulties logging in, accessing feeds, and utilizing other core functionalities.

Users logging into Facebook on iOS devices were greeted with a popup notification saying "Session expired. Please log in again."

After clicking the OK button, the app sends users to a sign-in page. But the login appears to fail once the user's password is entered. 

On Instagram, a popup informed users the app couldn't refresh their feed, although it did not require them to log out. 

On Threads, users were unable to see their feeds, with a loading icon continually circling

The Cause Remains Unclear

While the exact reason for the outage remains unconfirmed, Meta, the parent company of both platforms, is currently investigating the issue. Here are some of the leading theories:

  • Domain Name System (DNS) Issues: The DNS acts like an online phonebook, translating website addresses like "facebook.com" into numerical codes that computers understand. A malfunction in the DNS can prevent websites from being accessed, similar to an incorrect phone number leading to a disconnected line. Such issues have affected Facebook and Instagram in the past, making this a potential culprit.
  • Server Problems: These platforms rely on vast server networks to store user data and information. If these servers encounter technical difficulties, it can disrupt service and lead to outages. Imagine a massive library experiencing a power outage – everything goes dark, and access becomes impossible.
  • Cyberattacks: While less likely, cyberattacks are always a concern. Malicious actors may attempt to disrupt major websites, but such attacks typically result in more extensive and prolonged outages. While it cannot be entirely ruled out, it's considered a less probable cause in this instance.

What to Do While You Wait

Facing an unexpected social media outage can be frustrating, but there are ways to stay patient and productive:

  • Embrace the Real World: Take a well-deserved break from the digital world. Go for a walk, reconnect with friends or family in person, or engage in offline hobbies you might have neglected. Remember, the online world will be waiting, but real-life connections are invaluable.
  • Explore the Wider Web: The internet offers a vast array of content beyond familiar social media platforms. Discover new blogs, learn new skills through educational websites or YouTube channels, or delve into the depths of knowledge on Wikipedia.
  • Join the Offline Conversation: Social media may be down, but online discussions often spill over to other platforms. Check out trending topics like #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown on Twitter and see what others are saying about the outage.

When Will Service Resume?

Predicting the duration of an outage is difficult, as it depends on the severity of the underlying issue. However, based on past experiences, Facebook and Instagram are expected to be back online within a few hours. Patience is key during these times.

Not the First Time

Large social media platforms are not immune to occasional outages. These incidents serve as a reminder of the complexity of these technological systems and the potential for unforeseen glitches. However, the skilled engineers at these companies are adept at resolving such issues and restoring service as quickly as possible.

Staying Updated

We will continue to monitor the situation and update this article with any new information from Meta or official sources. As we wait for the platforms to return, remember to take a break from the screens and enjoy the real world. We'll all be back to our social media routines soon enough!

About the Author

Ordinary People

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