Instagram and Facebook: Social media giants working again after second outage in just days

Facebook and Instagram went down again on Friday night for some users, just days after the social media platforms were hit by a major global outage for several hours.

Downdetector, which monitors the status of some of the most-heavily visited websites in the world, said users were reporting issues with both Instagram and Facebook from around 7.30pm.

The site suggested more than 19,200 issues were reported with Instagram, while around 2,000 Facebook outages were flagged.

Both social media giants apologised to users who were unable to refresh their home pages thanking them for their "patience this week" - though the outage appeared to be less widespread than on Monday.

In a statement Facebook, which also owns Instagram, said it was "aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products.

"We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience."

Two hours later, Facebook issued an update saying: "We’re so sorry if you weren’t able to access our products during the last couple of hours.

"We know how much you depend on us to communicate with one another. We fixed the issue — thanks again for your patience this week."

Instagram said earlier in a statement: "We know some of you may be having some issues using Instagram right now. We’re so sorry and are working as quickly as possible to fix."

It later Tweeted: “Things have been fixed, and everything should be back to normal now.

“Thank you for bearing with us (and for all the memes this week).”

It was not yet clear what caused the second outage of this week.

Monday’s outage, which affected Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, left billions of the platforms’ users unable to get online for around eight hours.

After initially going offline between 4pm and 5pm UK time Facebook and Instagram's apps began to come back online just past 11pm and WhatsApp at around midnight.

Twitter joked amid the outage in a tweet: "Hello literally everyone".

Facebook’s share price plummeted 4.9% amid the outage, which also came the day after a whistleblower claimed in a US interview that the company prioritises its own interests over the public good.

Facebook, which owns all three platforms, said the glitch was caused by an error during a routine maintenance job and “not by malicious activity”.

The error message presented when attempting to access Facebook's website suggests it was a problem with Domain Name System (DNS), which allows web addresses to take users to their destinations.

Adam Leon Smith, of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and a software testing expert, said the outage earlier in the week was "caused by changes made to the Facebook network infrastructure.

“Many of the recent high-profile outages have been caused by similar network level events.

Facebook's co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has been criticised for his app breaching user privacy and safety. Credit: PA

“It is reported by unidentified Facebook sources on Reddit that the network changes have also prevented engineers from remotely connecting to resolve the issues, delaying resolution.

“Notably, many organisations now define their physical infrastructure as code, but most do not apply the same level of testing rigour when they change that code, as they would when changing their core business logic.”

This latest incidents, after the major outages linked to Cloudflare in 2020 and Fastly earlier this year, highlight the potential problems with having large portions of the internet reliant on just a handful of large companies.

Facebook itself acknowledged that the outage impacted people and businesses globally, adding it was further reviewing what happened "so we can continue to make our infrastructure more resilient".