WhatsApp global outage angers users in Hyderabad, cripple businesses
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sanjay Samuel Paul and Tushar Kaushik
HYDERABAD: When the popular messaging service WhatsApp, used by billions worldwide for chatting, video conferencing, sending videos and data files, was down for two hours, it disrupted life as we have come to know it.
People were perplexed as WhatsApp was unavailable and assumed it might be an internet or device issue. Many users expressed their frustration on Twitter that they were unable to send or receive messages on the app. When the global outage of WhatsApp began on Tuesday between 1 pm and 2 pm, WhatsApp users quickly turned to Twitter to bemoan their inability to use the app.
Around 1 pm on Sunday, more than 29,000 users reported trouble with the app, and a sizable number continued to report issues up until 4 pm, according to the online platform Downdetector, which gives information on the status of websites and services.
According to the company, issues with sending and receiving messages from users in Asia, the UK, South Africa, and Europe began around 12.20 pm and persisted for nearly two hours.
The hashtag #Whatsappdown started trending and memes about the outage went viral on Twitter. One widely shared post, referring to the "WhatsApp University"— the term used for forwards circulated over the app — asked students and teachers to return to universities as soon as WhatsApp was restored.
Another tweet mentioned how some individuals were attributing the disruption to the solar eclipse. "#WhatsApp users come to #Twitter to check #WhatsAppDown," said the description of a tweet that featured a picture of a very crowded train.
"Our work was hampered for around two hours when WhatsApp was unavailable. We conduct considerable business in the health sector, there have been a number of fire accidents, and we needed to communicate with the concerned doctors to get the information. Our communication was totally down for two hours," lamented Srinivasulu K.M. of Totem PR & Advertising Ltd. But no touch was made during those two hours.
Parankush Chunchu, executive director of a global corporation in Gachibowli, said even though IT and IT-related companies have their own internal communications platform, the employees typically use WhatsApp groups for faster and easier communication.
Most traders rely on WhatsApp communication, according to Uday Shah of the Shreeji Datta Sai Agency in Ranigunj. "Transactions are captured in images and communicated over WhatsApp. Since the majority of businesses were closed today, there was no impact.