For a couple of hours on sunday evening, Instagram was down. The app’s feed was frozen, tossing users errors saying that it couldn’t refresh, while the website gave only a blank page. According to the outage tracker DownDetector, the first reports of trouble started a few minutes after 6PM ET before spiking to over 175,000 reports at its peak, but by 7:30PM ET, the issue appears to have been resolved and it’s working again.
In an email to The Verge, Meta spokesperson Dave Arnold acknowledged the outage, saying, “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing Instagram. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Given the timing, the outage quicly surfaced as a part of Monday morning news reports in Australia.
Other services belonging to Instagram’s parent company Meta, like Facebook, WhatsApp, or Horizon Worlds, appear to have been unaffected. There’s no sign of any issues like the massive datacenter backbone problem that took down the company’s services for hours in 2021.
Instagram’s help page and accounts on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter hadn’t posted any updates about the outage. An Instagram-owned service like Twitter would be a good place to check, but despite the rumors and leaks, it doesn’t exist yet.
Update May 21st, 7:20PM ET: Added comment from Meta spokesperson confirming the Instagram outage.
Update May 21st, 7:42PM ET: Updated to note the outage appears to be over.