Nigerians groan as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram suffer temporary shutdown

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By Idris Bakare

Millions of Nigerians groan  as  social media platforms such  as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp suffered temporary shutdown yesterday.

The three famous social media platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook – stopped functioning on Monday evening. Other products related to the apps, such as Facebook Workplace, also did not work for four hours.

Users of Facebook and Instagram applications could not view posts on refresh, while WhatsApp messages could not be sent or received.

Facebook is a website which allows users, who sign-up for free profiles, to connect with friends, work colleagues or people they don’t know, online.

WhatsApp Messenger, or simply WhatsApp, is an American freeware, cross-platform centralized instant messaging and voice-over-IP service application. It allows users to share text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, among other contents.

Instagram allows users to create and share photos, stories, and videos with their friends and followers.

Many users took to Twitter, a microblogging and social networking platform, to share their experiences.

Recall, since the suspension of microblogging site Twitter by the Federal Government of Nigeria in June 2021, Nigerians have relied heavily on Facebook-owned platforms for social interactions while a few others continue to tweet, circumventing the ban using Virtual Private Networks.

Nigeria had about 33 million active social media users as of January 2021. WhatsApp is the most popular platform used in the country, with over 90 million users, according to Statista.

About 61.4 per cent of Nigerian social media users use Twitter, 86.2 per cent use Facebook, 81.6 per cent use YouTube, 73.1 per cent use Instagram, and 67.2 per cent use Facebook Messenger.

According to WhatsApp handle on twitter, @WhatsApp wrote, “We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment.

“We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible.

“Thanks for your patience!”

Also, @InstagramComms wrote on Twitter, “Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them. Bear with us, we’re on it! #instagramdown.”

@Facebook tweeted, “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

Speaking with a Facebook user, Yinusa Oluwatoyin expressed worries over the sudden shut down of the social media.

He said most of his job activities are mostly done on social media as the shut down on social media apps has led to inability to communicate with his prospective customers online.