Update: It looks like WhatsApp is now working again, with users now being able to send and receive messages. However, performance is still a bit slow, so we’ll be monitoring the situation throughout the day.
Earlier today, WhatsApp was down. Millions of users had been trying to send messages on the app, but rather than being sent, people were simply seeing a clock icon next to their messages.
While messages are now going through, there is a slight delay when sending new messages. This could be due to a huge amount of traffic as WhatsApp sends out the millions of messages that didn’t send earlier today, or it could hint that the WhatsApp service isn’t completely fixed.
So, with WhatsApp returning to full functionality, many people will be asking what happened?
According to Jake Moore, Global Cyber Security Advisor at ESET, it could have been a malicious attack. He told us that:
“Whether it be malicious or otherwise, this highlights the significance of vast hosting companies directing data around the internet along with companies and individuals relying on single points of communication. It would be difficult to point the finger at an attack at this early development stage, but it cannot be ruled out due to the impact a potential attack could have.
“Suppliers which bottleneck data for billions of devices and networks are an obvious target and should they ever be hit with the perfect attack and last for days it could be catastrophic. Multiple areas will inevitably be significantly impacted as a result of this downtime, along with an predicted financial hit but lessons from other recent prominent times when the internet has gone down will have hopefully taught many to have access to other forms of communication.”
We’ve just had a reply from a Meta spokesperson, who told us “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible.”
This is pretty much the statement that Meta is sending to other publications regarding WhatsApp’s issues this morning.
If this whole WhatsApp drama has made you think about switching to a different service, check out our list of the best encrypted messaging apps, which offers up some excellent – and secure – alternatives to WhatsApp.
Just as I wrote that post, the WhatsApp message sent! But you may find that messages take longer to send then usual. This may be because WhatsApp is still fixing the issue behind the scenes, and also with so many messages being send at once, WhatsApp servers may be getting a real hammering at the moment.
OK, let’s not celebrate too early – I just tried to send another message, and it’s taken longer to send.
The messages I tried to send earlier are now going through!
Looks like more people are able to send messages now.
It seems WhatsApp is working for some people now, with someone on the team saying they can now send messages. However, it’s not working for other people on the team.
Hopefully this means the WhatsApp team are applying a fix as we speak.
There’s around two billion WhatsApp users around the world who use the app on a monthly basis.
As of right now, it appears none of them can send WhatsApp messages.
The above image shows the current state of the mobile WhatsApp app, with messages just sitting there waiting to be sent.
If you’ve noticed the same, then don’t worry – it’s not you, there’s something wrong with WhatsApp.
I do worry that when this issue is resolved, there are going to be a HUGE amount of messages suddenly sent around the world. That could cause additional strain on WhatsApp’s servers.
Here’s the error message I’m getting when trying to make a video call. Definitely seems to be a server issue on WhatsApp’s side.
Video calls via WhatsApp are also down. I’ve just tried it, and after a few seconds, the call ends, and a message says that the video call failed and that I should check my internet connection. Thanks WhatsApp.
Here’s what we’re seeing when using the web version of WhatsApp in a browser. As you can see, we can’t connect to WhatsApp’s servers, and messages aren’t sending.
We have now got a comment from WhatsApp’s parent company Meta, which said (as per Reuters): “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible.”
I’ve had a check of the official WhatsApp Twitter account (opens in new tab), but so far it has not posted anything regarding the problem, but WhatsApp is trending in the United Kingdom, so this is clearly a widespread issue.
According to the Downdetector website, there’s been a spike in people reporting issues with WhatsApp since around 9am BST (4am ET, 1am PT) on Tuesday October 25.
The most common issue is sending messages, which is the problem I’ve been experiencing, as well as other members of the TechRadar team.
Welcome to our WhatsApp is down live blog. After seeing numerous reports about WhatsApp being down, I’ve tried sending a message myself, and sure enough, it won’t send – instead I’m getting a clock icon next to the message, which suggests the WhatsApp servers are failing.
By Matt Hanson