Following two outages last week, Instagram is now experimenting with an alert function that will inform users when there is a chance of an outage or a technical difficulty. The news comes after Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp had a near-seven-hour outage on Monday, followed by a minor Instagram outage on Friday.
“We’re testing a new feature that will notify you in your Activity Feed when we experience an outage or technical issue, and when it is resolved. We won’t send a notification every single time there is an outage, but when we see that people are confused and looking for answers, we’ll determine if something like this could help make things clearer,” Instagram noted in a blog post.
The new alerts, according to Engadget, will display in users’ Activity Feeds, among existing in-app notifications. The notifications may alert users to specific difficulties, such as story submissions, or to a more broad issue, like the outages that caused confusion last week.
Users all across the world were affected on Monday, and it was unclear if the problem was due to their network or whether the Facebook-owned applications were truly down. The outage was caused by a “faulty configuration change,” according to Facebook after it was resolved. Over 3.5 billion WhatsApp users were affected by the outage. The outage was one of Facebook’s and its sibling businesses’ longest outages. Facebook.com and its servers were also taken down from the internet.
Users suspected that Facebook had been taken offline as a result of a hack and that a Facebook employee had screwed with the company’s systems. The fault occurred with Facebook’s DNS servers and BGP, according to Facebook (the local peering network that Facebook uses).
In the meantime, Instagram is developing a new Account status feature for its app. Users will be provided with full information as to why their account has been suspended or a post has been deleted. If a user believes the decision was made unfairly, they can request a review. According to Instagram, the functionality would make it simpler for users to explain why a post was taken and if their account will be deleted entirely. Users will be able to understand why their accounts have been suspended as a result of the upgrade.