Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were unreachable from 17.39 hours yesterday due to a mega malfunction. It wasn’t until seven hours later, around 1 a.m., that social media came back online. “We’re sorry,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook last night, when the platform was up and running again.

“The most significant disturbance we have ever observed.” For example, website DownDetector mentioned the problems that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were struggling with yesterday.

It’s rare for Facebook to be hit by an outage. If that is the case , the problems are often resolved within an hour . Yesterday, users around the world had to do without Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp for more than seven hours.

Doubling the number of text messages

As a result, people flocked to look for alternative ways to communicate. KPN registered a doubling of the number of text messages sent. Many users turned to Twitter. “Hello, literally everyone,” the company wrote on its own platform.

According to a New York Times reporter, employees were unable to enter the data centers to fix the problem on the spot. Their access passes would no longer work, because the system that checks their identity and opens the doors would also have become inaccessible.

The outage was  caused  by a failed ‘routine update’. “Our engineering teams have determined that changes to the configuration of the routers that coordinate network traffic between the data centers have caused the problems,” Facebook said in a statement. “They caused interruptions in communication and shut down the services.” 

No user data would have been leaked, the company reports. 

In the next hour WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram worked for some users, others had problems. A company spokesperson confirmed that the services were “slowly coming back online.”

Facebook’s technology director wrote on Twitter that he was sorry. “It will take some time for all services to work 100 percent again.”

All services were back to normal at around 1am. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made himself heard for the first time since the outage. “We’re sorry, I know how many people depend on our services to keep in touch with loved ones,” he wrote in a post on the platform.

Small businesses worldwide have lost revenue due to social media issues, as they rely on Facebook for communication in many cases.

Facebook itself lost nearly 5 percent in value on the stock market. According to Bloomberg , CEO Zuckerberg’s net worth shrank by $ 6 billion yesterday due to all the problems surrounding Facebook.