Facebook blames long outage on 'server configuration change'

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. What happened?

The outage, which plagued Facebook's flagship service as well as Facebook-owned properties Instagram and WhatsApp, lasted for almost 14 hours, according to CNN.

Facebook confirmed on Twitter that its suite of apps were offline for some users, stemming from server issues.

Pointing out that the Facebook outage also extended to its other properties, including Instagram and WhatsApp, Sarah Miller, the deputy director at the Open Markets Institute, which is for the break-up of Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies, said, "The more integrated a platform becomes, the greater the risk and reach of epic failures like this one". Facebook said the issue had been resolved and that it's systems were recovering.

On Wednesday, Facebook dispelled speculation that the outage was caused by a denial-of-service attack (DDoS), a type of cyberattack that disrupts an online service by flooding it with requests. Reuters was not immediately able to verify those claims and the company declined to comment beyond the statement on resumption of services.

It also said it was considering whether to refund advertisers for lost exposure due to the problems, which internet outage trackers showed affected users in Europe, Japan, and North and South America. There were still sporadic problems Thursday morning.

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According to the website Downdetector, Facebook's outage spanned the globe, with reports of disruptions concentrated on the East Coast of the United States and in Britain.

Cloud-based, privacy-focused messenger system Telegram added a whopping 3 million new users to its estimated 200 million user base in a single day after Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all went down.

The prolonged disruption could have financial consequences for the company.

Shares of Facebook were down more than 1.5 percent Thursday afternoon.

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