“To every company small and large, to every family and everyone who counts on us, I’m sorry,” said Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer. “It may take some time for services to return to 100%,” he added“.
Several Facebook employees, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they believed the malfunction was the result of an internal error.
Security experts said it was possible that the malfunction was the result of an unintended mistake or an act of sabotage by an insider.
Facebook, the world’s second largest digital advertising platform, loses about $545,000 in ad revenue in the United States every hour of outage, according to estimates by ad measurement firm Standard Media Index..
Facebook apologized but did not immediately explain the cause of the malfunction, which Downdetector, which tracks internet outages, described as the biggest glitch ever faced by Facebook..
The outage was the second blow to Facebook in two days after it faced accusations on Sunday that it repeatedly preferred profit over cracking down on hate speech and misinformation..
The outage for its Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp services began at around 1200 noon EST (1600 GMT). Services began returning at around 0545 p.m. EST.
Facebook’s stock fell 4.9 percent, its biggest daily loss since last November, amid a broader sell-off in technology shares on Monday, as the world flocked to competing applications such as Twitter and Tik Tok. The stock rose by about half a percentage point in post-closing trading after services resumed.