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After two outages in a week, Instagram tests in-app outage alert notifications

After two outages in a week, Instagram tests in-app outage alert notifications

The new alerts will appear in users' Activity Feed, where other in-app notifications also appear. The messages could inform users about specific issues, including story uploads or a more widespread problem.

(Picture: Reuters) (Picture: Reuters)
Story highlights
  • Instagram is testing in-app outage alert notifications, after two outages it faced last week.
  • The social media platform aims to help users understand why they are facing issues with their accounts.
  • Instagram is also working on a new Account status section for its app.

After two outages faced by Instagram last week, the company is now testing an alert feature that will notify users when it is likely to experience an outage or a technical issue. The development comes shortly after Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp faced close to a 7-hour outage last Monday followed by a relatively small Instagram outage on Friday.

"We're testing a new feature that will notify you in your Activity Feed when we experience an outage or technical issue, and when it is resolved. We won't send a notification every single time there is an outage, but when we see that people are confused and looking for answers, we'll determine if something like this could help make things clearer," Instagram noted in a blog post.

According to Engadget, the new alerts will appear in users' Activity Feed, where other in-app notifications also appear. The messages could inform users about specific issues, including story uploads or a more widespread problem, like last week's outages which led to confusion.

On Monday, users all over the world were affected and reconfirmed whether the issue was with their network or did the Facebook-owned apps really go down. After fixing the issue, Facebook noted that the outage was due to a "faulty configuration change". WhatsApp's outage affected over 3.5 billion users across the globe. The outage was one of the longest outages faced by Facebook and its sister companies. It also made facebook.com and its servers disappear from the internet.

Users speculated that Facebook has been knocked offline by a cyberattack, and some thought that a Facebook employee had messed up the company servers. Facebook confirmed that the problem was with Facebook's DNS servers and BGP (the local peering network that Facebook uses).

Meanwhile, Instagram is also working on a new Account status section for its app. The feature will give detailed information to users informing them why their account has been suspended or a post has been removed. Users can request a review if they believe that the decision was unfair. Instagram has noted that the feature will make it easier for users to explain why a post was removed and if they would lose an account altogether. The update will help users understand why their accounts have been suspended.