UPDATE: WhatsApp services are back online after a two-hour outage. The app should start working for users soon if it hasn't already.
On Tuesday, WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook parent Meta, experienced a global outage.
WhatsApp Web, the internet browser version of the messaging service, also failed to load in a test performed by Business Times.
A number of users reported problems sending and receiving messages on WhatsApp in the early hours of Tuesday morning, notably at 3:17 a.m. ET, according to the monitoring site DownDetector.
Users experienced issues with message sending and receiving. Many users have taken to social media to express their frustration with their inability to send or receive messages on the popular messaging app.
Users have discovered that while they can still browse their discussions after starting the app, they are unable to send or receive any new messages. For many users, the app's top display always displays a notification that says it's "connecting" to the server but never actually does.
Later, Meta confirmed the WhatsApp outage.
In a statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: "We're aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we're working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible."
The quickest way to see if WhatsApp is back up and running is to open the app. If it's not working, you'll see a message that says "retrying" so if it's not there, it might be active again.
You can also go to DownDetector to obtain the most recent statistics on the number of outage reports.
WhatsApp, which has about 2 billion users, is especially popular in India and Brazil.
In the past, a WhatsApp outage has occasionally coincided with difficulty on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by the same firm, but they appear to be operational this time.
WhatsApp is currently trending on Twitter as well, which is unusual because Twitter is hardly ever influenced in this way. This led to the creation of several widely circulated memes.
Twitter is functioning, so it would also be worthwhile to follow WhatsApp on Twitter in case their social media team posts an update there.
It is not the first bug to affect a platform managed by Meta this year. Facebook users complained in August that messages from other people that were originally posted on celebrity accounts were flooding their news feeds.