Home/ Companies / News/  WhatsApp’s one hour outage takes toll on small businesses

On Tuesday, popular Meta-owned messaging service, WhatsApp, went out of service for an hour — sending small businesses that are increasingly reliant on the platform into a limbo. 

According to industry experts, such conditions could be increasingly common as small ventures reliant on platforms to distribute their services.

The WhatsApp outage is the latest among multiple outages of global platforms such as Facebook, Google and content delivery network (CDN) provider, Cloudflare.

“The brief outage was a result of a technical error on our part and has now been resolved," a Meta company spokesperson said.

Users who have started increasingly relying on the platform for their ventures faced the heat.

Kolkata-based baker, Pooja Kaur, ended up calling users manually to procure client locations to process their orders. 

A larger impact was noted by Mumbai-based Sanjay Das, senior claims manager at a leading insurance company, who noted that the outage caused the day’s work schedule to get delayed — and even postponed to the next day.

Explaining the reliance on the messaging service, Das said, “We had internal reporting plus clients meeting on some important policy coverage and all those communications happen on WhatsApp.“

WhatsApp has over 450 million active users in India, while nearly a third of its business users are also based here. This makes its outages significant. 

A senior executive, who requested anonymity since he works for a competing service, said that while the outages among big tech companies are not very frequent, occasional outages are inevitable. 

“The nature of technology is such that even when you have redundancies in place, which all major tech companies do, there will be downtimes that affect users and services," he said.

As WhatsApp resumed after over an hour of disruption on Tuesday, users complained they were unable to send and receive messages. Down Detector, a website that tracks online outages across the globe, said the report first surfaced at 12:30 pm, with the number crossing 30,000 reports by 1 pm.


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Updated: 26 Oct 2022, 04:35 PM IST
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