Facebook, Instagram and Threads were all down in massive Meta outage on Super Tuesday

Reports are coming in that a number of Meta's top social apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, are all experiencing an outage on Tuesday morning. When loading the apps or websites, users receive an error message that "something went wrong" and to try again later, or, in the case of Facebook, they're taken to a logged-out landing page but are unable to sign in even when using their correct password. [Update: 12:11 p.m. ET: The apps appear to be working again. Meta said at 12:19 p.m. ET that the issue was "technical" in nature.]

The troubles seem to have started at some point after 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, according to reports on social media and various user-submitted issue trackers, like DownDetector. However, Meta's own status page only shows results related to Meta's business products, like Ads Manager, not the platforms as a whole. We've reached out to Meta to confirm the timing and the reports and will update if we hear more information. In the meantime, Meta communications director Andy Stone has confirmed the outage in a post on X, noting, "We're aware people are having trouble accessing our services. We are working on this now."

It's highly unusual for Meta to be experiencing a widespread outage like this, given the size and scale of its network and the redundancies built in. For that reason, some people are suspicious about the origins of this outage, particularly because it's election day across a number of U.S. states, which means millions of people are headed to the polls to vote in the primary on what's known as Super Tuesday. This outage, then, comes at a terrible time for any candidates or political organizations looking to do last-minute voter outreach efforts or those reminding people to go vote.

Meta's suite of apps has played a large role during the election cycle, given that its family of apps, which also includes WhatsApp, now reach 3.98 million monthly active users as of the end of last year, the company's data shows. To quell its potential role in influencing the elections' outcome, Meta disabled political ads in the timeframe leading up to key elections, like the U.S. midterms. To address newer concerns, Meta also announced it would label political ads with AI-generated imagery for the 2024 election cycle.

Related to elections and social media discussions, Meta last week said it would be exiting the news business in the U.S. and Australia with the removal of the News tab in April 2024.

Amazon Web Services' service health status currently shows there are no recent issues, but Meta operates its own data centers, which could still be experiencing an issue, despite whether or not AWS was seeing a problem.

While some people have reported seeing issues with other sites, like YouTube and X (formerly Twitter), those platforms appear to be currently up.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino posted an update shortly after the news of the Meta outage broke to confirm that X was not seeing issues of its own.

"Testing, testing... affirmative, everything is functioning smoothly here," she wrote.

X owner Elon Musk meanwhile mocked the outage with a meme. In a separate post, he also added, "If you’re reading this post, it’s because our servers are working."

The issues at Meta seem to stretch beyond just its consumer-facing apps, as company employees have also posted on X that they are unable to log in to work as well. One Meta Reality Labs employee noted they were even booted out of work "mid meeting."

Remarked app developer Nikita Bier, whose app TBH was acquired by Meta, "Last time Facebook did a forced logout of everyone, it was hacked, where adversaries leveraged a bug with the View-As feature."

Meta did not indicate that it was hacked today, but the timing had raised people's concerns.

Roughly a couple of hours after the outage began, it was resolved. In a post on X, Stone said, "Earlier today, a technical issue caused people to have difficulty accessing some of our services. We resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was impacted, and we apologize for any inconvenience."