Millions of stranded social media users in Nigeria are currently on microblogging site Twitter as Facebook-owned services, WhatsApp and Instagram, remain shut down for hours on Monday.
The social tools including Facebook’s own Messenger service were first reported as not being available from 04:25pm on Monday, leaving some three billion online users frustrated and unable to connect all over the world.
Users visiting the social platforms owned by Silicon Valley guru Mark Zuckerberg are confronted with error messages.
Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram have since gone on Twitter to notify its billions of users that they are “working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Also, Chief Technology Officer at Facebook, Mike Schroepfe, tweeted, “Sincere apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now. We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible.”
The Facebook-owned apps reported outages in March 2021 and July 2020 but both were resolved within an hour while Monday’s shutdown is entering a record five hours as of the time of filing this report.
Since the suspension of microblogging site Twitter by the Federal Government of Nigeria in June 2021, Nigerians have migrated heavily to Facebook-owned platforms for social interactions while a few others continue to tweet, circumventing the ban using Virtual Private Networks.
But Twitter experienced a record return on Monday as many stranded, social media-thirsty Nigerians bombarded the platform despite the current Twitter ban. Nigeria has about 33 million active social media users as of January 2021, according to Statista.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), during his nationwide broadcast to Nigerians to mark the nation’s 61st independence on Friday, had said he had directed a conditional lifting of the ban placed on the operations of the microblogging site.