Korean Instagram users reminded of Kakao outage after worldwide glitch
Instagram users worldwide reported glitches in the service, citing trouble accessing their accounts for hours. In Korea, where the shock from the massive Kakao outage from two weeks ago hasn’t worn off, the untimely bug hit too close to home.
From 10:30 p.m., Monday to 7 a.m. the following day, local time, a number of Instagram users across the globe could not access their accounts on the social media service and were told that their accounts have been suspended. Some reported a significant drop in their follower counts.
Instagram wrote on Twitter Tuesday that the bug which caused the glitch was resolved, but some local users continued to experience issues until 4 p.m. as the service was restored country by country. Over 7,300 reports were made on Downdetector, an online service outage tracker, in the first half an hour after the service partially went down.
During the eight-and-a-half hours of outage, a number of local users complained through posts on other social media channels, saying “my account has been deleted all of sudden,” or “I’ve lost 110,000 followers over the last three or four hours.”
As only some users experienced random errors, rumors circulated about the cause of the glitch.
“I got a notice about 10:30 p.m., so I opened the app and it said that my account was suspended,” said Song Yeong-ho, a 26-year-old Incheon resident. “Then I was automatically logged out.”
“When I tried to log in again, it kept saying the account is unavailable,” said Song. “I gave up after trying to restore the account until 1 a.m., but it was fixed by the time I woke up in the morning.”
It is not the first time Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has experienced a service outage. In October last year, Facebook as well as other Meta services like Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger were unavailable for users around the world for more than six hours due to a mistake during routine maintenance.
Meta has not specified details about the outage yet, such as the extent of the damage, cause, or the number of users and countries affected, but industry insiders are speculating that the glitch happened during an internal feature test. WhatsApp, Meta’s messenger app, also suffered a glitch in Asia and Europe on Oct. 25, a day before Meta reported its quarterly earnings for the July-September period.
Instagram’s recent global service outage was another blow to Meta, which has been already faltering on weak quarterly performances and free-falling stock price.
Meta’s quarterly net profit fell 52 percent on year to $4.4 billion for the July-September period. As the forecast remains grim for the remainder of the year and the company’s metaverse dream seems farther away than ever, the stock price continued its downfall.
Meta’s stock price plunged 71.9 percent this year to close at $95.2 on Tuesday. It lost more than $670 billion in market cap compared to the beginning of the year.
And for Korea, which just went through a 127-hour-long Kakao service outage when a fire broke out at a data center on Oct. 15, the Instagram glitch yet again exposed the country’s high dependency on big tech companies.
“Consumers already lost their faith in the stability of platform services,” said Shin Min-soo, a business professor at Hanyang University.
“The big tech infiltration in our daily lives has mostly been the regulator’s concerns, but now ordinary consumers and regular citizens are going to increasingly voice their demand for platform services,” said Shin.
Related government organizations including the Ministry of Science and ICT and Korea Communications Commission are expected to look into the Instagram service glitch. Meta is obligated to open a channel for error reports when its service goes down according to Korea’s so-called “Netflix law.”
The Netflix law, which went into effect in December 2020, mandated content providers such as Netflix, Google and Kakao to supply stable services and to share network maintenance costs shouldered by internet service providers which they had not been held legally responsible for before.
BY KIM JUNG-MIN, SHIN HA-NEE [email@example.com]