Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp All Crash Simultaneously

A woman prepares to log on to the Facebook website

Facebook blamed a "server configuration change" Thursday for a massive outage affecting its applications around the world and brought fresh attention to the embattled social networking leader.

Facebook's stock fell almost 3% in early morning trading on Thursday as Wall Street reacted to the outage.

The outages affected countless users and advertisers worldwide. "We're very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone's patience".

Facebook first acknowledged the problems in a tweet Wednesday at 1:49 p.m. ET, then said in a follow-up message that it was able to confirm the outages were not caused by distributed denial-of-service attack, in which networks are overloaded with bogus traffic created to disrupt service.

Facebook-owned Instagram and Whatsapp experienced similar issues.

Thousands of users took to Twitter over the past day to complain about the outage, causing the hashtag #facebookdown to trend.

Users reported problems Wednesday with posting and updating their social media accounts.

"This morning, Pavel Durov, the founder and CEO of the popular instant messaging service Telegram, used his official channel to welcome 3 million new users, he wrote: "I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours", adding" Good.

Separately, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that U.S. federal prosecutors were conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with more than 150 technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.

While Facebook said it has "resolved its issues", the update was sparse on details.

Downdetector.com, a crowd-sourcing site that tracks internet outages, showed a concentration of Facebook outages in the northeast as of Thursday morning. The federal investigation is the latest bad news coming from the company's data privacy scandals.

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