It’s not your phone or your network provider, WhatsApp is down worldwide

WhatsApp is down for many people across the globe. It all started around 9:00 am CAT, many people started reporting that they could not send messages, see statuses etc.

On WhatsApp web and the desktop app, I am stuck on a ‘Connecting to WhatsApp, Make sure your computer has an active Internet connection.’ Many more are reporting the same from all over the world.

Downdetector is a service that offers real-time status and outage information for various services. It shows that there was a spike in reports of the service being down, with the most reported problems being; sending messages, server connection and the app.

WhatsApp themselves have acknowledged the outage,

We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possibleJoshua Breckman, WhatsApp spokesperson

Yearly outages?

For the most part, WhatsApp has been reliable in its 12 years of existence. However, we remember the infamous outage of October 2021 that saw Instagram and Facebook go down too.

In two consecutive Octobers, WhatsApp has seen outages and for a service that has become more than just a ‘stay in touch with 3rd cousins’ service, this has many worried. What kind of maintenance work do they do in October? Last time around it was because of some configuration changes to Meta routers.

This time around Facebook and Instagram, the other Meta platforms do not seem to be affected.

The talk of alternatives

You just know that when stuff like this happens, the calls by Telegram and Signal users for the rest of us to move to those services can be deafening. In Zimbabwe at least, let’s not go down that route. It’s a waste of time for everyone.

We are not migrating people from WhatsApp because of an outage-a-year problem. Last time around it took 6 hours for the issue to be resolved, and life carried on like nothing ever happened. Did some people miss out on life-changing deals? Sure.

There are millions that use WhatsApp to market and sell their goods and services and a 6-hour outage is one lost day. Unfortunately, time is the one resource we cannot get back once it’s gone.

That means we probably need a backup service to use in times when WhatsApp goes down, something we might have to contend with more and more. That may be but that is not going to happen any time soon. WhatsApp has to deteriorate so much for that to become reality.

So, let’s soldier through this outage without raising each other’s hopes about Telegram finally getting the chance it deserves. Zimbabweans understand WhatsApp and network providers have made it so that it will take some effort to move people over to a new service.

If Sasai, which is cheaper than WhatsApp to use and has the backing of the biggest mobile network provider failed to make a dent, I don’t see a yearly WhatsApp outage being the thing that gives Telegram wings.

No, your WhatsApp calls are ‘probably’ not being recorded

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