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|Users report issues with Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp in widespread outage, photo: AFP/File | Karen Bleier|
The California giant, which has more than 2 billion users, acknowledged the outage after users noted on Twitter they could not access Facebook or had limited functionality.
"We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible," a Facebook statement said on Twitter.
A short time later, Facebook indicated the outage was not related to an attack aimed at overwhelming the network.
"We're focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack," Facebook said, referring to what is known as a distributed denial of service cyber strike.
Users reported issues with all four of the company’s main applications – Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
According to the website downdetector.com, the Facebook outages seemed to be heaviest in the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia.
Last November, a Facebook outage was attributed to a server problem and a September 2018 outage was said to be the result of "networking issues."
Instagram posted a statement on Twitter saying that it is aware of the problem and working to resolve it.
"We’re aware of an issue impacting people's access to Instagram right now. We know this is frustrating, and our team is hard at work to resolve this ASAP," it said.
Social media users took to Twitter to air their complaints with hashtags #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown. Others injected humour into their complaints with gifs.