WhatsApp services in Europe, India, Malaysia appear to have been badly hit and even parts of the US and Africa appear to have been affected. Judging by Twitter traffic and information from sites like istheservicedown.com and various news agencies the outage appears to have started in the Europe at around 8 am IST.
This is the third big outage WhatsApp suffered this year. It also went down in May and August for brief duration. Interestingly, WhatsApp has never offered a proper explanation of problem behind the outage. Instead, it only provides a standard message to its users that something is wrong. “Our service is experiencing a problem right now. We are working on it and hope to restore the functionality shortly. Sorry for the inconvenience,” it told some users on Friday.
Web services and apps go down for brief duration all the time, including services like Facebook and Gmail. However, given the popularity of WhatsApp — it is used by over a billion people — and the fact that people are using it all the time meant that as soon as it went down all hell broke loose. People took to Twitter to report how WhatsApp was down and wasn’t sending the messages anymore. There were some angry tweets, some funny ones. But within minutes the world became aware that WhatsApp was down.
This is first big outage WhatsApp has suffered in the last six months. Earlier on August 31, the services suffered a major outage in parts of Europe, Brazil and several other countries. Recently, WhatsApp rolled out new features, including a major feature that allowed users to recall messages. The feature is called Delete For Everyone. It is not clear if the latest WhatsApp outage is related to the new message recall feature. But clearly something went wrong on Friday afternoon.