Oh, the horror! A catastrophe of epic proportions occurred yesterday when *GULP* Facebook Messenger went offline for a short period of time, leaving millions of users around the globe unable to chat, send animated GIFs, or even share emojis with one another through the standalone messaging app. As you might imagine, this unfathomable event caused a panic on Twitter, where users vented their frustration.
The moment of dread came earlier this morning when a Facebook employee acknowledged the outage, confirming widespread fears that the problem was on Facebook's end.
"We can confirm there is currently an issue regarding Messenger that is under investigation by our engineering team as a top priority," a Facebook team member said. "As soon as we have an update, I'll get back to you. Stay tuned."
An entire hour—yes, an HOUR—elapsed between that initial update and a followup post in which Facebook said it had identified the cause of the issue and was working on a fix.
"Facebook is DOWN, Messenger is DOWN. Tell Twitter because Facebook won't work," a slightly confused user wrote on Twitter. Another one tweeted in all caps, "MESSENGER IS DOWN AND I KNOW I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE. WHAT'S HAPPENING?"
Fortunately service has since been restored, and a crisis narrowly averted. Messenger users can resume sending messages such as, "What's up?" and "Hey." But as to the cause of the outage that resulted in hysteria and a mild inconvenience, well, Facebook isn't saying. Was it a DDoS attack? An update gone bad? Did someone at Facebook HQ trip over a power cord? We may never know.
On a more serious note, messaging is an important part of Facebook's mission. The company recently stated that about 1.2 billion around the world use Messenger each month. It also purchased WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, and more recently rolled out a Messenger Kids standalone app for children.