WhatsApp is one of the most popular messengers worldwide. If there are problems, millions of users are affected in one fell swoop. But what can you do if there is a disruption at WhatsApp?
Like every online service, WhatsApp Messenger is not immune to outages. Most recently, there was a disruption at the beginning of October 2021, which meant that not only the network, but also the WhatsApp and Instagram services belonging to Facebook were unavailable for several hours. Millions of users worldwide were thus unable to chat, post photos or send a status. But what can be done when there is an outage on WhatsApp and what are the causes of such disruptions?
What is the reason for a WhatsApp outage?
Minor disruptions occur with the messenger every now and then. But the outage is not always so big that all users notice it. Sometimes it only lasts a few minutes or is limited to one country. Shorter downtimes are sometimes even planned due to maintenance work, but are then often postponed until the night.
But in the case of a large-scale and long WhatsApp outage, the reasons often lie elsewhere. If Facebook and Instagram are also affected, the assumption of a central malfunction of the internal systems is obvious. For example, a server failure or errors in system configurations are possible. Hacker attacks can also occur, but they are rarer. If all services are affected at once, a hacker attack can almost be ruled out. Facebook services are structured so differently that an attack could hardly cover them all.
Major disruptions on WhatsApp can last several hours and sometimes have global repercussions. In the case of the WhatsApp outage at the beginning of October, it took around seven hours for Facebook to restore data traffic between its data centers.
WhatsApp down, and now?
If WhatsApp suddenly stops working, users should first check whether the fault does not lie with them. If you are online via mobile data, you should try dialing in via WLAN, and vice versa. A look at WhatsApp Web is also helpful. If there is a central malfunction of all services, this service will not work either.
If it can be ruled out that an individual error is behind the WhatsApp outage, it is always worth taking a look at portals like “allestörungen.de”. Here, those affected can quickly get an overview of how extensive the WhatsApp disruption is in the region. It is also worth taking a look at other social networks such as Twitter . WhatsApp informs its users about major outages and problems relatively promptly. Sometimes the company even gives the specific reason and a time frame by which the problem should be solved.
Alternatives to WhatsApp
In case of a major WhatsApp outage, users usually have no choice but to wait until the error is fixed. Since the messenger cannot be used during this time, alternatives have to be found. Here, the many other messengers like Signal or Telegram offer themselves. However, they are only a solution if your friends and acquaintances also use them. Otherwise, the last resort for communication is the good old SMS, which can be sent to any cell phone regardless of any third-party services or Internet access. Or you can simply call those you want to talk to.
Last but not least, the WhatsApp outage may also be an opportunity to put your cell phone aside and devote some time to your real-life counterpart or yourself. After all, a little digital detox does us all good every now and then.