The Facebook and WhatsApp applications' icons are displayed on a smartphone. Whatsapp cut out on Saturday 22 February, days after Facebook bought the app. / GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

The team behind the app apologised to its 450 million users

Social media giant Facebook’s latest acquisition Whatsapp had to apologise to its 450 million monthly users after it went down for over two hours on Saturday night.

The team tweeted at around 8:16pm GMT to its users, 70 per cent of whom use the application every day: “sorry we currently experiencing server issues [sic]. we hope to be back up and recovered shortly.”

Chat conversations on the highly popular application, which was bought by Facebook on Wednesday, showed a loading asterisk and the alert “Connecting...” while the issues persisted.

By 10:48pm the problems had been fixed, and the company apologised again, tweeting: “WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the downtime...”

Some users complained about the problems, while others joked that the WhatsApp team had gone on holiday following their multi-billion dollar deal with Facebook.

Olympic medal-winning diver Tom Daley asked his 2.62 million Twitter followers: “Anyone else's WhatsApp stopped working?”

Software engineer Chris Sedlmayr tweeted using his @catchamonkey handle: “Anything that can 'go down' shouldn't be relied on. Plenty of decentralised ways to message, they can't go down as such”.

Toronto-based journalist Mathew Ingram (mathewi) said: “WhatsApp undergoes some downtime, as founders are too busy counting out their Facebook billions one bill at a time”.

The technical glitch comes after Facebook's deal with WhatsApp, comprising of $4 billion (£2.4 billion) in cash and $12 billion (£7.18 billion) worth of Facebook shares.

The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion (£1.8 billion) in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp's founders and employees to be paid in four years.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of Facebook, said: “WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.”

Jan Koum, co-founder and chief executive of WhatsApp, said: “WhatsApp's extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide.

"We're excited and honoured to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world."

The WhatsApp brand is to be maintained, and its headquarters will remain in Mountain View, California.

Additional reporting by PA