WhatsApp down: Messaging service apologises after New Year outage

App stops working as India says goodbye to 2017

Harriet Agerholm
Sunday 31 December 2017 19:58
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There was a large spike in the number of reports that the messaging service was suffering outages shortly after 6pm
There was a large spike in the number of reports that the messaging service was suffering outages shortly after 6pm

Thousands of people reported that Whatsapp went down for almost two hours on Sunday, as people across the world exchanged messages welcoming the New Year.

There was a large spike in the number of reports that the messaging service was suffering outages shortly after 6pm.

The app appeared to display a permanent loading wheel with messages failing to send. Whatsapp later apologised.

At its peak, downdetector.co.uk received 2,012 reports that Whatsapp was not working, but this dropped to 355 at 7pm. The messenger appeared to be back to normal by 8pm.

The pacific island of Samoa and New Zealand were the first to say goodbye to 2017, followed by Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong and North Korea.

India and Sri Lanka celebrated the New Year at 6.30pm UK time, coinciding with increased reports that Whatsapp messages were failing to send.

At 7.40pm, the worst affected areas appeared to be the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, southeastern Brazil and several areas in India.

Unlike many large social networks and internet companies, WhatsApp does not maintain a page to give users information when the site is down.

It has an official Twitter account that is supposed to post when it is experiencing problems — but that appears to have fallen into disuse.

WhatsApp appears to go down on a roughly monthly basis. The outages are often resolved quickly, although they can sometimes also take hours to fix.

Several people used social media to vent their frustrations using the hashtag £whatsappdown.

One Twitter user wrote: "Nothing could've been better than whatsapp servers crashing on new year's eve £whatsappdown £WhatsApp"

Another wrote: "Retweet if you're checking Twitter to find out if WhatsApp is down £whatsappdown"

Another user said: "Open Whatsapp. Send message. Nothing. Airplane mode on. Airplane mode off. Nothing. Open twitter. See £whatsappDown. Find relief that it's not just me. £HappyNewYear2018."

A spokeswoman for the messaging service said: "WhatsApp users around the world experienced a brief outage today that has now been resolved.

"We apologise for the inconvenience."

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