WhatsApp went down worldwide on May 3. Image: QZ.

On Wednesday afternoon, WhatsApp went down worldwide. Users in North and South America, as well as Europe, have reported the massive outage that seems to be affecting people everywhere. A spokesperson told Reuters they were aware of the issue and working on it.

The popular messaging service counts with more than 1 billion users around the world, and for many, it is an essential channel of mobile communications. Facebook owns the app as well as its photo-oriented competitor Instagram.

While most would think that Instagram is the most popular of the two, the introduction of the WhatsApp Status as a feature has reached 175 million users in just three months versus 200 million of Instagram Stories.

Why was WhatsApp down?

As of this writing, the only official statement people have from the company came via Thomson Reuters a couple of hours ago. WhatsApp spokespeople told the news agency that they were aware of the outage and working to fix it, but offered no further explanation.

Both Android and iOS users have been reporting that the problem is, indeed, inherent to the messaging platform, as their mobile connections work just fine with other applications.

iPhone users, for instance, are met with a persistent “Connecting” message both in WhatsApp’s home screen and in individual and group chats. Sending a message does not work, and it remains pending delivery.

People have taken to social media, particularly Twitter, to express their frustration or joke about the whole issue. The outage happened just as Facebook was delivering its latest quarterly report, says Business Insider, but it was not mentioned during the presentation.

Some users have already started reporting the service is back up for them, but the sheer amount of queued messages waiting to be delivered might be overworking WhatsApp servers for a little while longer. Others say they are experiencing issues with notifications not showing in spite of the platform working again.

Facebook and WhatsApp have yet to issue a statement explaining the concrete reason for the outage.

Source: Twitter