WhatsApp now back up after suffering massive global outage

Users reported being unable to load the app for several hours on Wednesday

WhatsApp appears to now be running as normal after suffering a massive outage yesterday, affecting millions of users around the world.

The Facebook-owned social networking app was knocked offline at 4.50pm (ET) on Wednesday, with users unable to access the service for several hours.

WhatsApp has now said the app is now back online, but has given no explanation as to what caused the drop in service. According to a spokesperson speaking to Business Insider, WhatsApp itself caused the outage rather than an external party.

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"Earlier today, WhatsApp users in all parts of the world were unable to access WhatsApp for a few hours," said a company spokesperson in an email to IT Pro. "We have now fixed the issue and apologise for the inconvenience."

The company has not specified how many users were affected, but users in India, Canada, the US, Brazil, the UK, and France reported being unable to start the app, and those that did were stuck on a screen with a message saying 'connecting'.

It also affected major operating systems, including Apple's iOS, Google's Android, and Microsoft's Windows mobile.

Although it only lasted a few hours, a global outage of this kind is significant for WhatsApp, as the company now has over one billion users worldwide. The app, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion, has become an essential tool for communication and commerce in many parts of the world.

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