The outage, which plagued Facebook's flagship service as well as Facebook-owned properties Instagram and WhatsApp, lasted for nearly 14 hours, according to CNN. DownDetector, a website that allows users to report when a service isn't working, first started receiving a flood of reports starting around 12:01PM ET. The site received thousands of reports of issues each hour from users around the world, peaking at over 12,000 around 9:00PM ET.
Facebook first publicly addressed the issue Wednesday afternoon, acknowledging in a tweet that "some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps." The company also quickly dismissed concerns that the outage was the result of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. The acknowledgment came at 1:49PM ET, and it would be 11 hours until the issue was finally resolved. At 12:41AM ET Thursday morning, Instagram confirmed it was back online via Twitter.
While outages are a rare occurrence for Facebook, this was the second noteworthy instance in recent months. Back in November, the company had a similar issue that left Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp inaccessible for some users. That outage was the result of a "routine test," according to the company.