WhatsApp Returns After Three-Hour Outage
Popular messaging app WhatsApp came back online yesterday after going down for over three hours. While outages are not unusual for popular online services, the timing of this is particular embarrassing and could be bad for business; WhatsApp was recently purchased by Facebook, and users are watching the takeover closely for signs of trouble.
Reports started pouring in around 2pm EST on Saturday that the app was not working. When users tried to send a message, they would just see a loading asterisk and the word “Connecting.” The phrase “WhatsDown” began trending on Twitter as users looked for answers.
The company confirmed about an hour after the troubles started that they were “experiencing service issues.”
The system returned around 5:30pm EST, but not before memes and conspiracy theories began to make the rounds on the internet. Facebook’s suprising $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp had been met with some accusations that the social network wanted to shut down its competitor and drive users to Facebook messenger. Others made comments about the internet companies loading spyware onto their servers.
With a billion and 450 million users respectively, Facebook and WhatsApp have solid user bases with which to attract new customers. But bad publicity like this has the potential to drive those same users to any number of competitors.