Meta outage disrupts social media globally

Meta services, including Facebook, Instagram and Threads, have been downed in a brief service outage

A major IT outage at Meta has affected services on its three core platforms, Facebook, Instagram and Threads, for millions of users on an apparently global basis.

Reports of outages made through the popular Downdetector service peaked at 15:35 GMT (10:35 EST) on Tuesday 5 March, with over half a million complaints made in regard to Facebook. The true number of individuals impacted will almost certainly be an order of magnitude higher.

Andy Stone, communications director at Meta, confirmed the outage at 15:52 GMT via X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

In a follow-up post at 17:19 GMT, Stone said: “Earlier today, a technical issue caused people to have difficulty accessing some of our services. We resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was impacted, and we apologise for any inconvenience.”

X’s owner, erratic tech billionaire Elon Musk, taunted his rivals, saying: “If you’re reading this post, it’s because our servers are working.”

Meanwhile, Meta’s users – who also took to X to voice their frustration – reported being unable to load apps, send and receive messages, or refresh feeds. A number also found they had been automatically logged out of their accounts.

At the time of writing, Facebook appears to have returned to normal functionality, while Instagram and Threads continue to experience intermittent issues.

Read more about Meta

The outage has also affected numerous Meta business products, including Ads Manager, Facebook and Instagram Shops, Meta Business Suite, and Meta Admin Centre, as well as elements of its developer platform, including Facebook Login, Graph API, WhatsApp Business API – which remains down – and Marketing API.

While its occurrence on Super Tuesday – the day on which Americans in 15 states select their preferred candidates for this year’s presidential election – will draw speculation of a cyber dimension, the cause of the outage is unknown.

Cisco-operated network visibility specialist ThousandEyes said that Meta’s backend servers remained reachable throughout the incident, with network paths clear and servers responsive, however, as users attempting to login were receiving error messages, it was possible that one of Meta’s backend services, potentially authentication, had experienced a glitch.

Neither was the outage linked to any country-level disruptions or filtering, according to London-based internet and digital rights specialist NetBlocks.

Read more on Social media technology

Data Center
Data Management