WhatsApp, the popular five-year-old messaging service that Facebook recently acquired in a $19 million deal, suffered tech difficulties this past Saturday, just days after its purchase by the social media giant last week. The problems lasted over three hours, annoying users of the messaging service, which is among the most popular of all messaging apps currently on the market. Many users speculated that the outage had something to do with Facebook acquiring WhatsApp in a deal made with the two Co-Founders of the app last week.
Problems with the app on Saturday included the incapability to send photos, messages, and just a general problem connecting to the server. WhatApp apologized to the 1 million users who follow it on Twitter on Saturday evening at 5:48 p.m. EST, tweeting to them that they were sorry for the downtime of the app, and that the messaging service had officially been restored. An earlier statement had said that the app was “experiencing server issues.” All questions about the problems with the messaging service were referred to WhatsApp reps by Facebook on Saturday.
The international app is popular with people who want to connect globally, mostly because it is essentially free for texting and sharing media, being that messages are sent over the internet. In its time in existence, WhatsApp has gained about 450 million users around the world. It is increasingly popular in Europe, Asia, and North America, especially with teenagers and 20-somethings who have recently been straying from normal social media, but still want to connect with friends and family. However, with the problems with WhatsApp on Saturday, many users of the popular messaging service did utilize social media in many different forms, including Facebook, Twitter, and their blogs, to express their annoyance and frustration with the WhatsApp messaging service suffering tech difficulties, and not to mention just days after its purchase by Facebook.
Some tweets by annoyed users sent out on Saturday poked fun at Facebook and what it might have to do with the WhatsApp issue, as users complained on the internet about not being able to connect with their friends and families. One user made fun by tweeting that the app’s server was experiencing downtime because the founders were too busy counting their billions of dollar bills from Facebook one at a time. Another tweet joked that if Facebook could not beat WhatsApp, they might as well shut it down.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg initially expressed his interest in purchasing the messaging service to WhatsApp Co-Founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum back in 2012. The Facebook founder convinced the WhatsApp founders that he would like to acquire their popular app on the grounds that he believed merging WhatsApp and Facebook would further aid in the global inter-connectivity of people around the world. However, the gossip between many users who are unhappy with Facebook’s acquisition of the app is that Zuckerberg’s social media giant was interested in purchasing the app in order to make huge changes, and eventually shut it down to make Facebook Chat the primary way of communication for young people now using WhatsApp. Some WhatsApp users have been angry about the purchase of the messaging service by Facebook, and believe that it is no coincidence that the app suffered tech difficulties on Saturday, just days after Facebook acquired it.
By Laura Clark