WhatsApp suffers outage days after Facebook buy.

WhatsApp Suffers 3.5-Hour Outage Days After Facebook’s $19 Billion Deal

WhatsApp Suffers 3.5-Hour Outage Days After Facebook’s $19 Billion Deal

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Feb. 23 2014 12:26 PM

WhatsApp Suffers 3.5-Hour Outage Days After Facebook’s $19 Billion Deal

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Lots of users took to Twitter to complain about Saturday's outage

Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

Days after Facebook shocked the tech world by saying it would buy WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion, the popular mobile messaging app suffered an almost four-hour outage Saturday. Users of the messaging application know full well that it sometimes goes down for hours on end, but coming days after the Facebook deal meant that a lot more people were paying attention. WhatsApp acknowledged the issue on Twitter and apologized.

Co-founder Jan Koum told the Wall Street Journal in an e-mail that “we had a server outage.” WhatsApp has 450 million users, more than two-thirds of whom use the application daily. Although many on Twitter were quick to conspiratorially blame Facebook for the outage, TechCrunch, which clocked the outage at around 210 minutes, speculates that the acquisition may have “led to a surge of signups and usage that has overloaded its servers.” Yet outages are hardly novel for the company, which has acknowledged one outage a month since July.

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Also in Slate: Facebook Just Bought What for $19 Billion? by Will Oremus, Facebook’s Acquisition Engine by Matthew Yglesias, and The $19 Billion Facebook Spent on WhatsApp Could Have Bought 76 Washington Posts by Kate Blair, Chris Kirk, and Will Oremus.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.