Huge Facebook outage results in 3 million new signups for Telegram

Dwayne Harmon
March 17, 2019

A partial Facebook outage affecting users around the world has stretched beyond 24 hours, but was showing some signs of ending late on Thursday.

The outage, which also affected Instagram, was not the first of its kind, but could as well be regarded as the biggest in the history of Facebook.

At the time of writing, it appears that Instagram is the only major platform owned by Facebook that has publicly declared itself to be back in operation.

The California firm which has more than two billion users acknowledged the outage after users noted on Twitter they could not access Facebook or had limited functionality.

Facebook has now stepped up and offered the reason for the outage: it was all due to a server misconfiguration.

"By extrapolating from the company's 2018 revenue figures, we can estimate that the recent blackout could cost Facebook up to $90 million in lost revenue".

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India, which is Facebook's largest market - with almost 300 million users as per Statista - also faced service interruptions. The encrypted messaging app does not have ads and runs on user donations. Facebook has pinned the error a "server configuration change", which is vague enough to avoid deeper probing, and subsequent troubleshooting from armchair experts.

Separately, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that USA federal prosecutors were conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with more than 150 technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.

A spokesman for the social network said the company was cooperating with investigators in multiple federal probes.

A grand jury in NY has subpoenaed information from at least two major smartphone makers about such arrangements with Facebook, according to the Times.

A US Justice Department investigation into the company's data-sharing practices broadened to include a grand jury, a person with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.

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