‘Hello, literally everyone’ was Twitter’s ironic message tonight, when it required a light-hearted approach to its rival Facebook which was in a global outage.
Facebook, along with its sister site Instagram and messaging service WhatsApp are currently unavailable to users around the world.
And in a Tweet that has been liked over a million times and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times, the site’s official page said, “Hello, literally everyone.”
Social media users, meanwhile, flocked to Twitter to share memes about Facebook being down.
Sharing a photo of Pixar superhero Mr Incredible, it said “It’s showtime” with the caption: “When most social media apps are down, Twitter is so…”
Another, continuing the theme, used a clip of the comedic character Mr Bean, who represents Twitter, alongside another character wrapped head to toe in bandage, representing Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Others joked about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg being sent to fix the problem.
A user took a photo of an electrician repairing wiring and put the tech billionaire’s face on the head.
Others joked that Facebook and Instagram would be down, leading social media managers to look for memes.
One wrote: “Social media executives are quick to come up with a relevant meme that is also funny for Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp.”
According to DownDetector, the issues started around 4:44 PM BST (11:44 AM ET), with tens of thousands of users reporting problems connecting.
NetBlocks, which tracks internet outages and their impact, estimates that the outage has already cost the global economy $160 million (£117 million) and plunged the price of Facebook’s stock by more than five percent.
The exact cause of the outage is still unclear, but Dane Knecht, Senior VP of web security firm Cloudflare, says the Facebook Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes, which are used by networks to deliver internet traffic, have been “taken from the internet.”
Cyber security expert Kevin Beaumont wrote on Twitter: “This looks like a pretty epic configuration flaw, Facebook doesn’t actually exist on the web at this point. Even their authoritative name server strings have been revoked by BGP.”
The three social media services, all owned by Facebook, run on a shared backend infrastructure, creating a “single point of failure,” experts say.
It wasn’t just the main Facebook apps that went down, other services, including Facebook Workplace and the Oculus website, were also down.
In the US, Internet services on phones supported by Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T have also gone down. In the UK, internet services for mobile network EE users are also affected.
There have been a number of social media outages in recent months, with Instagram down for 16 hours last month and all Facebook platforms going offline in June.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey seemed to shed light on Facebook’s plight tonight. In response to a post that appeared to show how the domain facebook.com is up for sale as a result of the outage, he jokingly asked, “How much?”
Users around the world reported problems with Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on Downdetector
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger are offline for users around the world, and the first report of problems comes in two hours ago
The cause of the outage has not been confirmed and it is unclear if they are all connected, but not long before Facebook’s entities went down, the entries for Facebook and Instagram were removed from the DNS it uses.
A DNS is essentially an internet directory. Whenever someone opens a link or an app, their device has to search the DNS used by the service they are trying to access to find it and then connect to it.
Major DNS providers include Google, Amazon, and CloudFare. It is unclear whether all sites and services that went down on Monday are using the same DNS or not
On Twitter, Facebook communications manager Andy Stone said they knew some people were having trouble accessing Facebook apps and products.
“We are working to get things back to normal as soon as possible and we apologize for the inconvenience,” the director said in a tweet.
Shortly after the first report came in, the hashtag #facebookdown was trending on Twitter, with users around the world reporting problems connecting.
The hashtag #instagramisdown and “WhatsApp” were also both trending on Twitter, with a number of users saying they checked their internet connection when they couldn’t get on Facebook.
Instagram comms tweeted: “Instagram and friends are having a bit of a rough time at the moment and you may be having trouble using it. Hang in there, we’re going for it!’