WhatsApp messaging app, back up after outage

WhatsApp, the rapidly expanding mobile messaging app, suffered an outage for more than three hours on Saturday, frustrating users just days after its acquisition by Facebook for $19 billion.

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“WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the downtime…,” WhatsApp tweeted to its more than 1 million Twitter followers on Saturday around 5:48 p.m. EST (2248 GMT).

Also read: Facebook to Buy Messaging App WhatsApp for $19 Billion

Earlier, the service had said it was “experiencing server issues” without providing further details. Facebook referred questions on the outage to WhatsApp representatives, who did not immediately respond.

WhatsApp, launched in 2009, has 450 million users globally. Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicts it will reach 1 billion in a few years.

WhatsApp is the leader among a wave of smartphone-based messaging apps that are now sweeping across North America, Asia and Europe, and is known to appeal to teens and others who avoid mainstream social networks.

During the outage the buzz on Twitter ranged from the conspiratorial – that Facebook had really bought WhatsApp to shut it down and funnel users to Facebook Chat – to the philosophical.

Service outages are common for rapidly growing technology companies, and the WhatsApp Status account has tweeted about an outage about once a month going back through May.

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