Facebook and Instagram Can't Seem to Keep It Together

By Catie Keck on at

Well, folks, Facebook and its “family of apps” has experienced yet another crash.

Problems appear to have started this afternoon, with Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Oculus, and Messenger all experiencing issues. According to DownDetector, issues first started cropping up on Facebook at around 1pm UK time.

“We’re aware that some people are having trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps. We’re sorry for the trouble and are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible,” Facebook tweeted a few hours ago. A similar statement was shared from Instagram’s Twitter account.

Oculus, Facebook’s VR property, separately tweeted that it was experiencing “issues around downloading software.”

Facebook’s crash was still well underway as of 6pm UK time today, and it was primarily affecting images. Where users typically saw uploaded images, such as their profile pictures or in their photo albums, they instead saw a string of terms describing Facebook’s interpretation of the image. Like this:

Screenshot: Gizmodo

TechCrunch’s Zack Whittaker noted on Twitter that all of those image tags you may have seen were Facebook’s machine learning at work.

This week’s crash is just the latest in what has become a near semi-frequent occurrence of outages. The first occurred back in March in an incident that Facebook later blamed on “a server configuration change.” Facebook and its subsidiaries went down again about a month later, though the previous incident was much worse, with millions of reports on DownDetector.

Two weeks ago, Instagram was bricked and experienced ongoing issues with refreshing feeds, loading profiles, and liking images. While the feed refresh issue was quickly patched, it was hours before the company confirmed that Instagram had been fully restored.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for more information about the issues and will update this post if we hear back.

Featured image: AP