New Delhi | Jagran Technology Desk: Social Media giant Facebook and its messaging and photo sharing services, namely WhatsApp and Instagram on Monday suffered a major outage which is claimed to be the biggest ever in history. The outage, that prevented the company's 3.5 billion users from accessing its social media and messaging services, lasted for over 6 hours before the services resumed earlier today.

Downdetector, which monitors internet issues, said the Facebook outage was the largest it had seen, with more than 10.6 million reports worldwide. According to reports, Facebook’s shares nosedived by 4.9 per cent yesterday which was its biggest daily fall since November last year. An ad measurement firm, Standard Media Index also stated that the social media giant lost about 545,000 USD in US ad revenue per hour during the outage.

But what caused the massive outage?

Informing about the massive outage that caused a whopping USD 7 billion fall in Mark Zukerberg’s wealth, Facebook on Tuesday morning (IST) cited faulty configuration changes on its routers as the root cause of the massive outage.

In a blog post named, ‘Update about the October 4th outage’, the social media giant said that its engineers have learnt that some configuration changes on its routers which coordinate its network traffic between Facebook’s data centres caused issues and resulted in the shutdown of its services.  

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt”, Facebook in its blog post said.

“Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime”, it added.

Facebook's services, including its picture sharing app Instagram, messaging app WhatsApp and workplace tools it sells to businesses and internal programs, went dark on Monday evening (IST). Access started to return around 3:15 am (IST) Tuesday.

Soon after the outage started, Facebook acknowledged users were having trouble accessing its apps but did not provide any specifics about the nature of the problem or say how many users were affected. The error message on Facebook's webpage suggested an error in the Domain Name System (DNS), which allows web addresses to take users to their destinations.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan