Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

It must have been a tough 15 hours on Wednesday, March 13 for the more active members of Facebook’s massive global community. The social network, along with Facebook-owned Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, suffered the worst outage in its 15-year history, leaving billions of users unable to post, comment, like, message, troll, or whatever it is they like to get up to on the various services.

Amid criticism for its lack of communication during the outage (it only posted two short tweets), the company finally got around to offering an explanation on Thursday. No, it wasn’t a cyber attack as some had suggested, but instead “a server configuration change.” That sounds like tech speak for a screw-up in the I.T. department.

In the tweet, Facebook said it had “resolved the issues and our systems are recovering,” adding, “We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience.”

Users may be happy with that response, but the myriad of advertisers that rely on Facebook to communicate their messages and run their ad campaigns may well demand more answers after losing valuable exposure time across the company’s various platforms.

It does appear, however, that some businesses benefited from Facebook’s flop. The founder of encrypted messaging service Telegram, for example, claimed on Thursday that some 3 million people signed up to the app during the Facebook outage, which also took down the hugely popular messaging app WhatsApp.

“I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours,” Telegram CEO Pavel Durov wrote in a post, adding that its service had “unlimited space” should anyone else want to jump ship. A year ago the app reported 200 million active users among its ranks.

The full extent of the damage to Facebook’s business is yet to be determined, but the sheer scale of its operation and the severity of Wednesday’s lengthy outage means the company’s reputation for service reliability will have taken a serious hit.

Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though. Our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.
Computing

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Gaming

How to sync and troubleshoot your PS4's DualShock 4 controllers

Sony's Bluetooth-enabled DualShock 4 controllers for PlayStation 4 are some of the best on the market, but connection issues aren't unheard of. Here's how to sync them to your console.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.