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WhatsApp back online after global outage hits users

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  • We have fixed the issue and apologise for any inconvenience, says WhatsApp’s parent company Meta.
  • The company did not disclose the reason for the outage.
  • WhatsApp has become a critical means of communication for households and businesses.

Messaging app WhatsApp was starting to come back online at 2pm Pakistan time (0900 GMT) and the company said the issue has been fixed after users across the world reported problems earlier on Tuesday.

At around 12:50pm (0750 GMT), outage reporting site Downdetector had shown over 68,000 users had reported problems with the app in the United Kingdom. Problems were reported by 19,000 people in Singapore and 15,000 people in South Africa, Pakistan and other countries as well.

“We know people had trouble sending messages on WhatsApp today. We have fixed the issue and apologise for any inconvenience,” a spokesperson for WhatsApp parent company Meta Platforms said.

The company did not disclose the reason for the outage.

WhatsApp has become a critical means of communication for households and businesses. When WhatsApp had an hours-long outage last October, it hit trading of assets from cryptocurrencies to oil, before traders switched to alternative platforms such as Telegram.

“This highlights the significance of vast hosting companies directing data around the internet along with companies and individuals relying on single points of communication,” said Jack Moore, advisor at Slovakia-based cybersecurity firm ESET.

“Multiple areas will inevitably be significantly impacted as a result of this downtime, along with a predicted financial hit but lessons from other recent prominent times when the internet has gone down will have hopefully taught many to have access to other forms of communication.”

WhatsApp’s latest outage came during the festive season in India — its biggest market by user count — when people use the platform even more than usual to send season’s greetings.

Shares of WhatsApp-parent Meta Platforms fell 0.7% to $128.85 in premarket trading following the outage.

The company had not sent any fresh updates as users in Asia, India and the United Kingdom started seeing some connections come back online.

#whatsappdown was trending on Twitter, with more than 142000 tweets and hundreds of memes flooding the internet.

“Everyone who noticed #whatsapp is down have come to twitter to confirm it,” says one Twitter user.

In the past, rival apps like Telegram, Snap or even Meta’s Instagram have seen temporary spikes in users when WhatsApp has been down.

While WhatsApp boasts of over two billion monthly active users and have become a mainstay for messaging in most countries, Telegram has taken up the challenger role with about 700 million users. 

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Bitcoin rises beyond $64,000 as new records are set.

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On Monday, Bitcoin reached a two-year high and broke $64,000 as a surge of capital brought it dangerously close to record highs.

It reached its best level since late 2021 at $64,285 early in the Asian day, and it closed the session 2% higher at $63,850. The highest point for bitcoin was $68,999.99, reached in November 2021.

This year, the largest cryptocurrency by market value has increased by 50%, with the majority of the gain occurring in the last few weeks due to a spike in trading volume for U.S.-listed bitcoin funds.

Earlier this year, US authorities legalised spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds.

Their introduction provided access for new major investors and has sparked renewed energy and enthusiasm similar to the surge to all-time highs in 2021.

As investors gain confidence, the flows don’t seem to be stopping, according to Markus Thielen, head of research at Singapore-based cryptocurrency analytics firm 10x Research.

Rival, smaller ether, has benefited from conjecture that exchange-traded funds may soon be the source of inflows for it as well. Although it’s up 50% so far this year, Monday’s price of $3,490 was barely below two-year highs set last week.

Alongside the rally, stock index records have tumbled on the Nikkei (.N225) in Japan, opened a new tab on the S&P 500 (.SPX), opened a new tab on the tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC), opened a new tab on volatility gauges in equities (.VIX), opened a new tab on foreign exchange (.DBCVIX), and opened a new tab on the S&P 500 (.SPX).

“As long as bitcoin continues to be a high-volatility tech proxy and liquidity thermometer, cryptocurrency will do well in a world where the Nasdaq is setting new all-time highs,” said Brent Donnelly, president and trader at Spectra Markets.

“The market is back to how it was in 2021, when everything is rising and people are having a good time.”

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WhatsApp adds a calendar function to make message retrieval simple.

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The “search by date” tool is an inventive innovation that makes it simple for users to access their favourite previous chats.

Users of Android and iPhone may now search for messages or media on a given day by using the app’s calendar interface, which is a new feature of the update. The laborious process of manually reading through chat history is eliminated by this function, which is especially helpful for regular users who have large message archives.

The announcement was also announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his WhatsApp channel, highlighting the company’s dedication to improving user accessibility and ease.

When users click on the calendar icon and choose a desired date, WhatsApp takes them directly to the messages that were sent and received on that specific day. This makes searching easier, which is especially helpful for those looking for certain details or memories that are hidden in their conversation history.

The addition of the calendar function to WhatsApp’s recent version rollout brings more formatting options for text, including strikethrough, bold, italic, and monospace. Additionally, the platform has given security improvements first priority, guaranteeing a secure environment for its large user base.

Nevertheless, in the middle of these developments, Android users of WhatsApp should be aware of a recent modification pertaining to conversation backups. Google Drive backups of conversations are no longer available for free since they now count against the user’s storage allotment.

To utilise this new feature, users can simply access WhatsApp, select a chat, tap on the name of the person or group, and choose the “Search” option. The calendar interface will then facilitate seamless navigation to messages from the selected date.

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VPNs, X, and Slow Internet Services Are Still Blocked in Pakistan

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Users are reporting poor performance on numerous social media sites due to widespread slowdowns in internet access. Furthermore, X (previously Twitter) has been inaccessible for the past six days, despite the Sindh High Court’s directive to allow access. In the meantime, Pakistan is blocking VPN services.

X Remains Unblockable

On February 17, 2024, the Pakistani government first prohibited access to X when it was discovered that Rawalpindi’s Commissioner had rigged election results. The block is still in effect, even though there has been no official announcement or explanation for it. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the prohibition, the administration has not yet disclosed any plans for reinstatement. Furthermore, officials are giving media outlets conflicting information about the limitations.

Blocked VPN Services

Virtual private network (VPN) services are being widely blocked nationwide, which exacerbates the problem. Apart from limiting accessibility to X, the government has initiated the banning of prominent VPN providers, impeding users’ capacity to establish connections with any server.

sluggish internet access

There is a noticeable slowdown in internet speeds and a decline in performance across Pakistan. The problem hasn’t been acknowledged by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), nevertheless. Even though internet service providers (ISPs) insist there aren’t any outages, consumers on social media sites are nonetheless complaining about poor access.

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