Facebook says outage caused by server change, now resolved

Smartphone screen with Instagram app icon in detailVARIOUS

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Slowly but surely, it appears that Facebook is getting its "family of apps" back online.

According to the company, the reports indicated that Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp weren't working as expected, and lasted for almost 12 hours before the volume of reports demonstrated a significant drop.

It wasn't just Queensland and New Zealand residents either, as there were also reports of calls being made to 911 in California, and other places in the US. Facebook said the issue had been resolved and that it's systems were recovering.

Nothing highlights our slavish dedication to social media more than a social media site going down.

According to the company, a "server configuration change" was the reason behind its more than two billion users having suffered the massive outage. "We are very sorry for the inconvenience and we appreciate everyone's patience". The app is also funded primarily through user donations rather than targeted ad services as Facebook is.

The Menlo Park, California-based company, which gets a vast majority of its revenue from advertising, told Bloomberg that it was still investigating the overall impact "including the possibility of refunds for advertisers".

In Washington, campaigners who have long called for the break-up of Facebook said the outage showed how the concentration of ownership of tech platforms is "dangerous" for consumers.

The New York Times reported late Wednesday that USA prosecutors had launched a criminal investigation into the social network's practice of sharing users' data with companies without letting them know.

"As people become more reliant on digital services like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, we are witnessing an ever growing number for problems during outages", Sanders said.

Over the past year, the social network has announced a series of moves to tighten handling of data, including eliminating most of its data-sharing partnerships with outside companies.

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