WhatsApp went down for over 30 minutes, messages were stuck and world stopped
WhatsApp went down for over 30 minutes, messages were stuck and world stopped:- That last part about the world stops is obviously a pun. But that was how for many it felt like as WhatsApp suffered an outage around 2.15pm India time. For over half an hour people in India, and elsewhere, people were unable to send WhatsApp messages and didn’t get any new messages. The situation was resolved around 2.45 when WhatsApp started working again.
Earlier when you sent a WhatsApp message, it didn’t go through. The WhatsApp down detector map shows that the service is suffering outage in parts of India, Europe and Asia. A similar website that tracks outages for WhatsApp reported the same thing.
This is the third big outage WhatsApp suffered this year. It also went down in May and August for brief duration. Interestingly, WhatsApp has never offered a proper explanation of problem behind the outage. Instead, it only provides a standard message to its users that something is wrong. “Our service is experiencing a problem right now. We are working on it and hope to restore the functionality shortly. Sorry for the inconvenience,” it told some users on Friday.
For now it is not clear what went wrong. For now there is no information from WhatsApp on what went wrong, not even a tweet. However, it is also a little too early to understand why WhatsApp stopped working. It was a global outage, and for some people it may persist even now, so it seems that something wrong must have gone with WhatsApp global servers.
Web services and apps go down for brief duration all the time, including services like Facebook and Gmail. However, given the popularity of WhatsApp — it is used by over a billion people — and the fact that people are using it all the time meant that as soon as it went down all hell broke loose. People took to Twitter to report how WhatsApp was down and wasn’t sending the messages anymore. There were some angry tweets, some funny ones. But within minutes the world became aware that WhatsApp was down.
This is first big outage WhatsApp has suffered in the last six months. Earlier on August 31, the services suffered a major outage in parts of Europe, Brazil and several other countries. Recently, WhatsApp rolled out new features, including a major feature that allowed users to recall messages. The feature is called Delete For Everyone. It is not clear if the latest WhatsApp outage is related to the new message recall feature. But clearly something went wrong on Friday afternoon.
Unfortunately, the WhatsApp users don’t know what went wrong and what responsibility WhatsApp has to keep the crucial service up. When it went down in May, India Today Tech had highlighted that services like WhatsApp needed to inform their users about the problems in detail and clarity because these are very crucial services. The world revolves around them. When they stop, a lot of people see their lives and work disrupted. We wrote in May, “This lack of transparency is scary for WhatsApp users. WhatsApp is not just a chat app. It is probably one of the most critical tools, some will even say part of critical infrastructure, for many people in India and rest of the world. But the incident last night and the stony silence from WhatsApp on its causes should give its users a pause.” But the Friday’s outage shows nothing has changed.