By Ros Krasny and Christine Stebbins
WASHINGTON Feb 22 WhatsApp, the rapidly
expanding mobile messaging app, suffered an outage for more
than three hours on Saturday, frustrating users just days after
its acquisition by Facebook for $19 billion.
"WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the
downtime...," WhatsApp tweeted to its more than 1 million
Twitter followers on Saturday around 5:48 p.m. EST (2248 GMT).
Earlier, the service had said it was "experiencing server
issues" without providing further details. Facebook referred
questions on the outage to WhatsApp representatives, who did not
Five-year-old WhatsApp currently has about 450 million users
globally and has been adding a million users daily.
On Saturday, some of those users took to other forms of
social media, including blogs and Twitter to report the outage
and vent their frustration.
WhatsApp is the leader among a wave of smartphone-based
messaging apps that are now sweeping across North America, Asia
and Europe, and is known to appeal to teens and others who avoid
mainstream social networks.
During the outage the buzz on Twitter ranged from the
conspiratorial - that Facebook had really bought WhatsApp to
shut it down and funnel users to Facebook Chat - to the
"So now that #Whatsapp isn't working I've actually talked
to my family, they seem like nice people," tweeted @Ali_Hilu, a
self-described social media addict in Jordan.
And @Iamhollybrown of Surrey, England, scolded, "Can't
believe all these people are crying about Whatsapp not working,
do some exercise, do some work, learn a language."