‘Hello literally everyone’ was the tongue-in-cheek message from Twitter tonight as it took a lighthearted approach to its rival Facebook suffering a worldwide outage.
Facebook, along with its sister site Instagram and messaging service WhatsApp are currently down for users across the world.
And in a Tweet which has been liked more than one-million times and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times, the site’s official page said: ‘Hello literally everyone’.
Social media users meanwhile flocked to Twitter to share memes about Facebook being down.
One shared a picture of Pixar superhero Mr Incredible saying ‘It’s showtime’ with the caption: ‘When most social media apps are down, Twitter be like…’
Another, carrying on the theme, used a clip of comedy character Mr Bean, representing Twitter, alongside another character wrapped head-to-toe in bandages, representing Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Others joked about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg being sent in to fix the problem.
One user took a picture of an electrician fixing wiring and superimposed the tech billionaire’s face on top.
Others joked that Facebook and Instagram being down would leave social media managers scrabbling for memes.
One wrote: ‘Social media managers trying to come up with a relevant meme that’s also funny for Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp down situation quickly.’
According to DownDetector, the issues started at around 16:44 BST (11:44 ET), with tens of thousands of users reporting problems connecting.
NetBlocks, which tracks internet outages and their impact, estimate the outage has already cost the global economy $160m (£117 million), and sent the Facebook share price down by more than five per cent.
The exact cause of the outage is still unclear, but Dane Knecht, Senior VP of web security firm Cloudflare, says the Facebook Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes, used by networks to deliver internet traffic, have been ‘withdrawn from the internet.’
Cybersecurty expert, Kevin Beaumont, wrote on Twitter: ‘This one looks like a pretty epic configuration error, Facebook basically don’t exist on the internet right now. Even their authoritative name server ranges have been BGP withdrawn.’
The three social media services, all owned by Facebook, run on a shared back end infrastructure, creating a ‘single point of failure’ according to experts.
It wasn’t just the main Facebook apps going down, other services, including Facebook Workplace and the Oculus website were also down.
In the US, internet services on phones supported by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T are also down. In the UK, internet services for users of mobile network EE are also affected.
There have been a number of social media outages in recent months, with Instagram going down for 16 hours just last month, and all Facebook platforms going offline in June.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey appeared to make light of Facebook’s plight this evening. Responding to a post which appeared to show how the facebook.com domain is for sale as a result of the outage, he jokingly asked: ‘How much?’
Users around the world reported problems with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on Downdetector
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger are down for users around the world, with the first report of problems coming in two hours ago
The cause of then outage is unconfirmed and it’s unclear if all are linked but not long before Facebook’s entities went down, entries for Facebook and Instagram were removed from the DNS it uses.
A DNS is essentially an internet directory. Whenever someone opens a link or an app, their device has to search the DNS used by the service they are trying to access to find it and then connect them to it.
Major DNS providers are Google, Amazon and CloudFare. It’s unclear if all of the sites and services that went down on Monday use the same DNS or not
On Twitter, Facebook communications executive, Andy Stone said they were aware some people were having trouble accessing Facebook apps and products.
‘We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,’ the executive said in a tweet.
Soon after the first report came through, the hashtag #facebookdown was trending on Twitter, with users worldwide reporting issues connecting.
The hashtag #instagramisdown and ‘WhatsApp’ were both also trending on Twitter, with a number of users saying they checked their internet connection when they couldn’t get on Facebook.
Instagram comms tweeted: ‘Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them. Bear with us, we’re on it!’