Facebook said its platform, Instagram and WhatsApp were “coming back online” after a massive outage on Monday knocked out service to the social media giants, taking the sites offline for users across the world for over six hours.
All three platforms, owned and operated by Facebook Inc., based in Menlo Park, California, went out of service at 11:39 a.m. ET. By around 6 p.m. ET, users of all three platforms reported that some service had been restored, but full functionality remained elusive well into Monday evening.
Facebook issued a statement at around 6:30 p.m. ET apologizing for the outage and said that its apps and services were being restored.
“To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we’re sorry,” Facebook said. “We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now. Thank you for bearing with us.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a Facebook post at 6:54 p.m. ET, also apologized. “Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.”
The company has not fully explained what caused the hourslong outage, only blaming “networking issues.”
Earlier on Monday, Mike Schroepfer, chief technology officer at Facebook, had to go on Twitter to offer his “sincere apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now.”
After the social media giant said its services were being restored, Shroepfer tweeted that it “may take some time to get to 100%.
“To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I’m sorry,” Shroepfer said.
WhatsApp tweeted: “Apologies to everyone who hasn’t been able to use WhatsApp today. We’re starting to slowly and carefully get WhatsApp working again. Thank you so much for your patience. We will continue to keep you updated when we have more information to share.”
Just before 7 p.m., Instagram wrote on Twitter that “Instagram is slowly but surely coming back now — thanks for dealing with us and sorry for the wait!”
One Facebook employee said it appeared to be a Domain Name System problem, the “phone book” of the internet that computers use to look up individual websites.
“I wish I knew. No internal tooling, DNS seems totally borked. Everyone is just sort of standing around,” the source told NBC News. “No reason at this point to suspect anything malicious but the outage is affecting pretty much everything. Can’t even access third-party tools.”
And a WhatsApp employee told NBC News that no internal services at company headquarters worked except for email and calendars.
Even conference rooms were inaccessible during the outage, the employee said, because they’re digitally locked and unlocked through an internet-connected tablet.
“Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety,” former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in an episode that aired Sunday night.
A Facebook spokeswoman, responding to the “60 Minutes” report, said the company has made “significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content.”
Including the Facebook CTO, Monday’s outage drove many social media users to Twitter. The platform responded to the influx by rolling out the digital welcome mat, saying simply, “hello literally everyone.”
This is a developing story, please refresh here for updates.
Ezra Kaplan, Rima Abdelkader, Caitlin Fichtel and Tim Fitzsimons contributed.