Facebook has suffered its worst global outage ever after the social media giant went down for up to 14 hours due to a “server configuration change”.

Australians awoke on Thursday to discover they were unable to access all of Facebook’s portfolio of services, including the social media platform, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

Users reported being unable to post to Facebook, refresh their Instagram feeds or access messages for as long as 14 hours.
Facebook was forced to post about the disruption on rival platform Twitter.

“We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps,” Facebook posted from its official Twitter account. “We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

The disruption has now been resolved, with all of Facebook’s platforms now back up and running.

The company has attributed the issue to an internal problem, and confirmed that it was not the result of a distributed denial of services cyber attack.

“Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience.”

The last comparable disruption to Facebook was way back in 2008, when the platform had just 150 million users.

About 2.3 billion users globally were impacted by the latest disruption last week, the worst in the company’s history.

While users were left annoyed by being unable to post or see their friends’ content, many businesses also rely on the service for advertising and communication. Facebook is reportedly considering refunding advertisers for the long disruption.

It came just a day after Google had suffered its own outage, with Gmail and Drive not working properly for most of Wednesday.

It was an especially bad week for Facebook, with founder Mark Zuckerberg also announcing the departures of two very senior figures at the company.

Chief product officer Chris Cox and WhatsApp head Chris Daniels will both be leaving Facebook, Zuckerberg announced in a blog post.

“While it is sad to lose such great people, this also creates opportunities for more great leaders who are energised about the path ahead to take on new and bigger roles,” Zuckerberg said in the post.

Will Cathcart has been appointed as the new head of WhatsApp, while Fidji Simo will serve as the head of the Facebook app.

“I’m deeply grateful for everything Chris Cox and Chris Daniels have done here, and I’m looking forward to working with Will and Fidji in their new roles as well as everyone who will be critical to achieving this vision,” Zuckerberg said.

“We have so much important work ahead and I’m excited to continue working to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

US presidential candidate and Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren also last week called for tech giants like Facebook to be broken up for the greater good.
“Today’s big tech companies have too much power – too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,” Warren said. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.

“That’s why my administration will make big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition - including breaking up Amazon, Facebook and Google.”