Chaos Ensues After Widespread Outage

Social media platforms owned by Meta — including Instagram and Facebook — experienced a widespread outage earlier this week that caused many users to not be able to access the platforms.

The issue first popped up on Tuesday morning, but company officials say they were able to resolve the issue that caused it.

On the social media platform X, Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Meta, wrote:

“We’re aware people are having trouble accessing our services. We are working on this now.”

In addition to the company’s two most popular and used social media platforms, Instagram and Facebook, users on Threads and Messenger also reported that they were experiencing outages.

Billions of users around the world were apparently impacted by the outages. And while it didn’t last very long in the grand scheme of things, it did cost the company boatloads of money.


A report by India Today highlighted that Meta lost roughly $3 billion in value as a result of the outages. The company’s stock, which is listed on the NASDAQ, dropped 1.6% for the March 5 trading session.

Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s founder who serves as Meta’s CEO, lost a personal net worth of $2.79 billion in one day as a result, Bloomberg reported. Of course, that still left him with quite an impressive net worth of roughly $176 billion.

Reuters reported this week that the status dashboard on Meta showed that the application programming interface for WhatsApp Business faced issues as well. In total, there were about 200 reports of an outage, according to Downdetector, a site that tracks outages through collating status reports from multiple sources.

Elon Musk certainly had some fun with the situation, especially the fact that Meta had to go on the social media platform that he owns to make the announcement. As Musk posted:

“If you’re reading this post, it’s because our servers are working.”

About an hour after Meta first posted its status message, they took to the platform again, with Stone writing:

“Earlier today, a technical issue caused people to have difficulty accessing some of our services. We resolve the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was impacted, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

According to Forbes, the issues with the social media platforms began around 10:45 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, as people were unable to access their accounts or the apps at all. By the middle of the morning, about 500,000 users on Facebook reported having issues with the platform.

Despite some initial concerns, it doesn’t appear as if the outages were caused by a cyberattack.

Instead, the team at ThousandEyes, which is owned by Cisco, reported that the most likely cause of the outage was an issue with some backend service, potentially something like authentication.

As researchers wrote in a blog post this week:

“ThousandEyes confirms that Meta’s web servers remained reachable, with network paths clear and web servers responding to users.”