WhatsApp Suffers an Outage Days after Its Sale to Facebook

What should we expect from WhatsApp now that it is owned by the most popular social networking site in the world, Facebook? Most of us surely anticipate better times for the popular messaging app. But an incident on Saturday (February 22) may prove otherwise.

WhatsApp was inaccessible for numerous users from around the world that day. Most of the complaints about its inaccessibility flooded the microblogging site Twitter. According to most of those complainants, the messaging app simply refused to load during the time that it was not accessible.

Some users related how they experienced the outage. The problem started when the app failed to let users send messages. For those who simply deleted the app and then re-installed it, the registration
process pushed through but the service simply did not work.

Timely outage

After several minutes, WhatsApp posted a Twitter message containing its apologies for the inconvenience. It briefly explained that the app was experiencing server issues that time. But it assured users that the service would be back soon and would recover shortly after that.

But some disgruntled users of the app questioned the timing of the outage. On Twitter, a number of them immediately blamed Facebook for the problem. The giant social media site acquired WhatsApp for about $16 billion a few days ago. Facebook said it wants to reach out and tap into the messaging app’s 450 million users.

The acquisition was easily one of the biggest headline stories for the technology beat in the week that was. That could be because it came as a surprise, and without any hint. Both companies did not reveal any clue as to the surprise that they were about to unfold. But now that it has been revealed, most of Facebook and WhatsApp users are excited as to how the two platforms could collaborate to provide better service.

Clearing Facebook

An analysis of the past downtime incidences of WhatsApp would also instantly acquit Facebook of any suspicion of involvement in the problem. The incident yesterday was actually not the first time that the messaging app was hit by an outage.

Records show that the app also experienced a downtime last December 7. And that was also not the first time. In fact, WhatsApp also experienced downtime on several dates: November 3, October 15, and August 4. It is just that the latest outage could be more newsworthy after the announcement of the sale.  

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About the author

Drew is a regular contributor covering trending topics.