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.
sorry we currently experiencing server issues. we hope to be back up and recovered shortly.-- WhatsApp Status (@wa_status) February 22, 2014
WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the downtime...-- WhatsApp Status (@wa_status) February 22, 2014
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.
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.