Thursday 14 March 2019 8:50 am

Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp emerge from worst outage in tech giant’s history

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Facebook showed signs of recovery this morning after suffering a partial outage that affected users across the world for more than 14 hours.

The outage, believed to be the longest in the social media site’s history, began yesterday afternoon and also affected Instagram, Messenger and Whatsapp.

Read more: Global outages cripple Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram

The firm was forced to post on rival social media site Twitter after Facebook users received error messages when trying to post updates.

“We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” the company wrote in a tweet.

Users began reporting issues at around 4pm GMT, with full access to the platforms still ongoing. Third-party outage tracker Down Detector said the worst hotspots were in California and New York in the US, and in the UK.

The outage led to an uproar from Facebook users, who took to Twitter to complain about the problems.

The problems will also have sparked concern among advertisers, who could not access Facebook's Ad Manager platform and may have been paying for campaigns that users were unable to view.

The coordinated timing of the outages led to speculation Facebook had been hit by a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS), a common form of cyber attack that disrupts a site’s services.

Tim Helming, director of product management at cyber security firm Domain Tools, said: “If this does turn out to be a DDoS attack, it underscores that this kind of attack is among the more intractable methods, because even the most sophisticated DDoS mitigation technologies – which Facebook likely has at their disposal – have their limitations.”

Read more: Facebook to encrypt more messages in privacy drive

Facebook has not revealed the cause of the outage, but denied it was the result of a DDoS.

Facebook, which has roughly 2.3bn monthly users, appeared to be recovering from the interruption this morning. In a post earlier this morning Instagram confirmed it had resolved its issues.