Unreachable Facebook and Instagram: what happened

Now a couple of minutes of overload and lack of connection are enough to unleash the social panic. Last night, as happened several times during the year, Facebook and Instagram have lived moments of fear, given the inability to connect both via the app for smartphones and tablets that directly from the computer.

The services managed by the US giant all lead back to the same brand, Facebook, but live on separate servers. This is a logical question: if something is wrong for the machines that run the main social network, it is not acceptable that the consequences are also felt by other platforms, which also serve millions of people.

And yet, just yesterday something happened that was rarely seen so far, perhaps only localized and for a few seconds: a contemporary down of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. How is it possible?

The social network will unlikely reveal the source of the problem but, excluding the possibility of an uninverted union of the servers, much could depend on the API shared between the three software. These are parts of code that, thanks to acquisitions over the years, allow the various apps to communicate with each other, for example to instantly share content from Instagram to Facebook and from these to the chat messages of WhatsApp.

It would be enough a couple of serious errors of the API on which Facebook works to tear connected clients, through a chain reaction that is not enviable at all. After all, just the bees were the cause of the last blackout occurred just a month ago, when both Facebook and Instagram had become inaccessible.

The mystery remains: according to the Facebook Outage Map, disclosed by the sites that monitor the international traffic of the main portals, Italy would be the nation that more than others suffered yesterday’s slowdowns, indistinctly from North to South. With us, in Europe also Portugal, central and eastern Spain, Greece and some specific cities including London and Paris, have experienced a similar but not extensive bloc as in our peninsula.

Ironically, a few hours after the rival of all time, Twitter, made available the doubling of characters available for each post: 280 instead of 140. So much so that someone has jokingly defined the down event as a mass transfer of the users from the blue square to the microblog with a thousand tweets.