WhatsApp, the messaging app, has been struck by a major outage, preventing millions of people around the world from using the application.
Apparently, because of a problem with its server, people are not able to send or receive messages using the Facebook-owned app. However, service appears to be progressively being restored.
The app did not initially seem to be broken, with contacts and chats able to load. However, once a user was already into a chat, the app just displayed a “connecting” message that does not resolve itself, and so new messages could not be sent or received.
That also implied that there was no easy fix to the problem since it seems to be on the side of WhatsApp. For instance, Shutting and opening the Whatsapp app just reset the connecting message but would not stop it from showing up.
The website Down Detector revealed an enormous spike in problems with the application, hinting that almost everyone is not able to get online. The problems are concentrated in Asia and western Europe but were reported around the world.
There were nearly few reports of problems from the Americas. However, that might simply be a result of the fact that the difference in timezones suggest that most people there were asleep.
WhatsApp Web, which uses the connection of the phone, was also broken.
Unlike Facebook, its owner, and many other major social networks and internet companies, WhatsApp does not maintain a page to provide users information when the site is down. It has an official Twitter account that is meant to post when the app is experiencing problems. However, that appears to have been inactive and has not posted any updates since 2014.
It is far from the first time that WhatsApp has gone down, and it now seems to be doing so roughly on a monthly basis. The interruptions are usually resolved quickly, though sometimes its also take hours to fix.