Earlier this afternoon, Facebook and Instagram apps unexpectedly crashed for multiple users around the world.
According to the web tracker Down Detector, outage reports reached the thousands as users experienced a variety of issues.
Some were greeted by a blank page, with nothing loading, while others could only access specific parts of their page, but were unable to post anything.
According to The Independent, “[a]lmost 90 percent of problems on Facebook … were reported as total blackouts or users being unable to log in, while on Instagram the core issue was with its news feed.”
Facebook investigated the problem and found “an increased number of API errors.”
It is rare for the site to crash so widespread, but because of its exorbitant size, any slight outage could cause a domino effect, even just for a few moments.
Facebook later released an official statement: “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
The areas most affected were North America, South America, and parts of central Europe.
Update: In the early evening, Facebook released a statement claiming to have remedied the outages: “Earlier today, a networking issue caused some people to have trouble accessing Facebook services. We quickly investigated and started restoring access within about an hour, and we have nearly fixed the issue for everyone. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”