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WhatsApp users around the world have tonight been left unable to send or receive messages in a massive global outage.
Issues were first reported just before 5pm on Monday with Instagram and Facebook tech boffins also scrambling to find out why their social media platforms had gone down too.
Many people on WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, are being met with the dreaded "Connecting…" loading on their screens.
The problem is being experienced on both iPhone and Android.
But don't worry – there's nothing wrong with your device.
The ongoing global outage prevents your app from connecting to WhatsApp's servers. WhatsApp users can no longer send or receive text messages, pictures, documents, or videos.
Voice and video calls have also been impacted by the colossal outage, which has taken down a number of other popular Facebook-owned services, reports Express.
WhatsApp has acknowledged the issues impacting users across the globe. The firm shared the update on Twitter as the outage approached its one-hour milestone: "We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment. We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible."
The immensely popular messaging platform has not confirmed when users can expect normal service to resume.
Facebook, which owns and operates WhatsApp following a $16 billion acquisition back in 2014, has shared an almost identical statement on its Twitter account, writing: "We’re 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 apologize for any inconvenience."
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Users who attempt to send texts on WhatsApp right now will see a small clock icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the message. This indicates that the message hasn't been able to leave your device.
WhatsApp uses a single tick to denote when your text has reached its servers. That turns into a double-tick when the text travels from those servers to the recipient's smartphone. When those double-ticks turn blue, it means the recipient has opened WhatsApp and read the text message.
These same symbols appear in the corner of picture messages, videos, PDFs, and more. When trying to make a voice or video call to a recipient, the usual call interface will appear as normal and WhatsApp will say that it is "calling" …but you won't get an answer as the messaging service isn't able to connect to the servers. If you wait long enough, WhatsApp will hang up throw you back to the main interface of the app.
Some users will also see the words "Connecting…" appear instead of your contact's name and profile picture at the top of a conversation within the app. This is also an indication that something has gone awry with WhatsApp.
Joking about the huge influx of users who have rushed to its app and website – to check whether other people are suffering with the same issue, and to find out whether Facebook or WhatsApp has revealed when users can expect to be back online – Twitter shared a tweet that reads: "hello literally everyone"
Have WhatsApp, Facebook and Instragam been hacked?
Cyber security specialist Jake Moore said there is a "chance" the issue could be related to a cyber attack.
He told the PA news agency: "There have been many reports and I'm struggling to find out exactly what has happened- I'm reading it could be DNS related, which means there is an issue with the connection not knowing where to go to your device.
"It could well be a human error or a software bug lurking in the shadows but whatever it is Facebook needs to do its best to mitigate the problem of causing more panic about this.
"The biggest problem is fears over a cyber attack but as we saw from Fastly in the summer I would hedge my bets on that not being the case as we're talking about one of the biggest companies in the world, but there's always a chance."
The official Twitter account humorously tweeted: "Hello literally everyone."
When will the social media sites be back up running?
No one knows for sure but the companies saying they are "working as quickly as possible".
Meanwhile, one person tweeted: "Maybe Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram all going down at once is a good wake-up call that one company should not have THIS much power and control and influence over all of us, right?"
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