Since about 1:10am EST, Facebook and Instagram were down potentially globally. The sites have since been restored at least for some users.
A massive influx of reports of Facebook and Instagram being down hit Twitter on the Facebook and Instagram hashtags, as well as www.downrightnow.com and www.isitdownrightnow.com, which seemed to be having trouble coping with the increased traffic. It is unknown at this time who or what actually caused this.
Oddly enough, it seems that Whatsapp, also owned by Facebook, is still up and running. In a statement emailed to www.businessweek.com, Kumiko Hidaka, Facebook's head of communications for Japan and Korea had this to say in regards to the outage:
“We’re aware that many people are currently having trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible,”I will update this article as soon as more information arises. Cue a tonne of people making jokes citing increased workplace productivity, while being on Twitter and wasting time anyway.
Update: Both Facebook and Instagram seem to be back up in their entirety. News on why the outage even occurred is still unknown. The outage lasted about 55 minutes starting at roughly 1:10 EST to 2:05 EST.
Update 2: The reports of outages came predominantly from Australia, North America, Singapore, Italy, and South Africa. Reports also came from the U.K and Hong Kong.
Update 3: Not that anyone should be surprised, but The Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility for both attacks on Facebook and Twitter, as well as for attacks on Tinder, AIM and Hipchat.
Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, AIM, Hipchat #offline#LizardSquadUpdate 4: As I suspected, the outage was due to a massive DDoS attack apparently coordinated by The Lizard Squad. Although, a spokeswoman stated to the BBC that the outage was caused by a change in their back end.
— Lizard Squad (@LizardMafia) January 27, 2015
"This was not the result of a third-party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our configuration systems. We moved quickly to fix the problem, and both services are back to 100% for everyone."So either Lizard Squad is lying, or Facebook is covering their asses for the DDoS. Both are equally possible.
Today was the longest Facebook has been down since September 2010.
Update 5: #facebookdown has been trending on Twitter for a bit, mostly to deliver half baked jokes concerning excessive Facebook use. The bigger issue is that Facebook's temporary outage caused lots of problems on websites with social integration, which in 2015 is basically all of them.