WhatsApp Down for Hours–With No Explanation

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Users of messaging service WhatsApp were unable to send or receive data for several hours yesterday. By 1.30pm PST most of its 1.2 billion users could send and receive messages once more. But users in territories including Brazil and Europe were still reporting problems many hours after.

The company, owned by social media giant Facebook, is yet to offer an explanation for the outage, announcing only that there was a problem, and that it has now been fixed. The issue has subsequently been attributed to a software update, though the company itself has not confirmed that.

The news came on a mixed day for the messaging giant. Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had earlier announced that WhatsApp Status, the platform’s answer to Snapchat Stories, now has 175m users, or roughly 15% of WhatsApp’s existing users.

WhatsApp has been on a upward trajectory since it was bought by Facebook for $19bn in February 2014. It has almost trebled its number of users, and some experts expect it to reap around $4 per user by 2020.

Yet the company has endured its fair share of controversy of late–including recent calls from the British government to comply with authorities, in the wake of revelations messages sent across its service played a role in March’s deadly terror attacks in London.