After a six-hour outage, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram are back up; Zuckerberg's net worth has dropped by almost $6 billion in just a few hours.

After being down for up to six hours on Monday, Facebook, its chat network Whatsapp, and its photo and video sharing app Instagram were restored in the early hours of Tuesday (October 5).

Around 9 p.m. (local time), the social media sites, which are controlled by the US-based internet behemoth Facebook, experienced disruptions, with various reports of users being unable to post on the main Facebook and Instagram apps.

The social media behemoth apologised for the global outage that hit its key platforms, claiming that the situation was caused by networking issues but not specifying which ones. “We apologise to the vast community of people and businesses who rely on us around the world.

We've been working hard to get our apps and services back online, and we're delighted to inform that they're currently available. Thank you for your patience,” Facebook said in a tweet only minutes before the services went live.

Workplace, Facebook's internal communications network, fell black as well, rendering many employees unable to function. Furthermore, Oculus, the company's virtual reality platform, has stopped working. Earlier this week, numerous media outlets reported that Downdetector, a website that allows users to report website outages, had received 5.6 million complaints about problems with Facebook's services.

After a whistleblower came forward and Facebook's main products failed for billions of users in a global outage, according to a Bloomberg report, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's personal wealth dropped by over $6 billion in a few hours after the disruptions, knocking him down a notch on the list of the world's richest people. Facebook shares finished 4.89 percent lower on Monday, after yesterday's sell-off. Facebook shares have dropped about 15 percent in the previous month.

In a social media statement, Zuckerberg apologised for the broad communication outage, stating, "Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger are now operational again. I apologise for the inconvenience today; I understand how much you rely on our services to stay in touch with the people you care about."

Based on the number of users affected, the outage appeared to be the largest in the social media company's history. The problem was caused by "networking difficulties," according to Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, in a Twitter post. He did not provide any other information.

It's worth noting that the downtime came just two days after a whistleblower said that Facebook prioritises "business over safety," pressing lawmakers to tighten up regulations on the firm.

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