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Sunday 26 January 2020

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp users in ‘refreshing’ trouble

Instead of Facebook or Instagram, the hassled crowd is now thronging to Twitter, but posts that work better on one medium may not live up to their potential in another

New Delhi: Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users are facing probably some technical glitch worldwide. Beginning 4 PM, many have complained they could not refresh the Facebook and Instagram news feeds.

There is a problem sending messages to Facebook’s Messenger. Many have said their desktop version of WhatsApp is not working.

The problem of the three social media platforms is restricted to the desktop version. There is no problem of the kind observed in mobile applications.

The problem of access to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp started suddenly. At first, it seemed that this problem was happening on some computers, not all. But later it was known that this is a Facebook-specific problem.

In addition to India, users in the United States, Malaysia and Turkey have complained of no access.

Instead of Facebook or Instagram, the hassled crowd is now thronging to Twitter. Information that these people would normally share on spacious Facebook is now going to the cramped space of 280 characters per post of Twitter.

However, Twitter being a better medium for the dissemination of breaking news, the media houses should not complain. But they are, as “Facebook directs more traffic to the web pages whose links are shared on that platform”, said Amit Ahuja, a media professional working for a television channel’s website in Noida.

Mrinmay Shetty, who works with a Bengaluru-based marketing team that specialises on promoting news media websites, says the Google Analytics figures would look odd until facebook fixes the problem.

Sunita Singh, a PR executive based in Mumbai, said that a non-functional Instagram is her greatest concern as she deals with celebrities who upload their pictures on the go and seek reports from her firm every now and then, as they are insecure about professional rivals surging ahead of them. “More so because not all accounts are facing this problem,” she explained.

On being asked why the mobile app cannot be used for the time being, Singh explained that much of the publicity of celebrities is managed by proxy. The PR firms hire professionals who work mostly on desktops, she said.

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