Facebook-owned smartphone messaging service WhatsApp temporarily crashed in an array of countries from the US to India, potentially affecting hundreds of millions of users.
Reports of people having trouble with WhatsApp in countries including Japan, India, Malaysia, Colombia and the United States hit the internet about 0200 GMT Tuesday.
The outage appeared to be resolved in most locations in an hour or so, according to Downdetector.com, which calls itself “the weatherman for the digital world.”
Comments posted by users indicated they were having intermittent difficulties with WhatsApp during the problem period.
Facebook did not respond to an AFP request for comment.
The disruption came on the heels of media reports that Facebook is working behind the scenes to integrate WhatsApp more snugly into the world’s leading social network by providing the ability to share information between the services.
It was reported users were unable to connect to WhatsApp on both Android and iOS. People were unable to respond to existing chats, start new ones or use the messaging app’s WhatsApp web service.
When an existing chat was opened, the name of the person or group was replaced with a spinning wheel and the word ‘connecting.’
While attempting to use change the privacy settings, the service generated an error message that said: “WhatsApp was not able to retrieve current privacy settings. Please try again later.”
California-based Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in late 2014 and the messaging service has grown to nearly a billion users.
Many took to Twitter to ask if others were facing connectivity issues as well:
— Mehdi (@SyedRezaMehdi) May 18, 2016
— Iqbal Khattak (@khattak63) May 18, 2016
WhatsApp isn’t working in Pakistan? Whats going on? @WhatsApp
— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) May 18, 2016