The world’s most used instant messaging and calling app faced a drawback, both on its Android and iOS platforms, on the New Year’s Eve.
On Thursday, WhatsApp users couldn’t send or receive messages across the network. The most popular Facebook-owned service was down for quite some time in various parts of the globe before normality was restored. The outages were rampant in Europe lasting for hours. However, in the U.S. and South American locations, the app was briefly unavailable for reportedly 45 minutes according to Down Detector. Down Detector tracks mobile apps and Internet sites in real time.
WhatsApp spokesperson said the bug was already fixed by early afternoon and services were back to normal. The company is also sorry for the inconvenience caused to the users at a time when they needed the app most. The company, however, did not confirm if hackers were behind the glitch Neither did it answer questions about the cause nor when it started.
The starting time of the outages is reported to be about 4 pm GMT, 11 am EST, on December 31 and speculations are that it could be due to a massive spike in traffic. The most number of messages are shared across the platform on holidays, hitting the peak on New Year’s Eve. Last year, about 54 billion messages were shared across the network on New Year’s Eve.
Those who were affected weren’t too pleased, and some of them took to Twitter expressing their disappointment.
WhatsApp hit by hitches recently
A court in Brazil recently ordered the app to be switched off in the country; the ban lasted for 12 hours. 90 percent of those having internet in Brazil use WhatsApp, so apparently the app lost a lot when this colossal number switched to other services like Viber, Facebook Messenger, Line or even the old-fashioned plain text.
Moreover, the app, alongside other encrypted messaging apps, has been accused by security personnel of aiding communication between terrorists, with the most recent accusation coming in following the Paris terror attack.
Besides, the ability of WhatsApp to sustain the ever bulging number of users due to these outages at peak traffic is questioned. The app is the most widely used instant messaging client having announced it had hit 900 million active users monthly, in September last year. The number has shot up by at least 10 million users according to unconfirmed reports.
Finally, WhatsApp parent company Facebook was also hit by a bug wishing its users 46 years of friendship with some of their friends at the same time. But this, just like WhatsApp’s case, has since been taken care of by the social networking giant.