For a period of about 12 hours on 3 July 2019, Facebook's systems were offline or working intermittently depending on which of their apps or platforms you were using. The main problem seemed to be around users not being able to download and upload photos and videos to Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram.

Facebook has since fixed the problem and all of their platforms seem to be working normally since then and they took to another social media platform, Twitter, to update users on the outage.

"We’re aware that some people are having trouble uploading or sending images, videos and other files on our apps. We're sorry for the trouble and are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. #facebookdown."

This outage came barely a day or two after Cloudflare, which many websites around the world use as their proxy and/or to manage DNS, also experienced an outage. Cloudflare reported that their outage was as a result of a software deployment error which ended up with websites using their services displaying a "502 Bad Gateway" error.

The outage, although Facebook is yet to  confirm, seems to have been caused by the fact that since Facebook bought Instagram and WhatsApp, it consolidated some of the systems that are common across all three platforms. Specifically, and in the case of this outage, it all seems to be related to all three using the same CDN (Content Delivery Network).

A CDN, simply put, is a network of distributed servers that deliver web content and media (photos and videos) to an app or platform's user based on their geographic location. In the case of Facebook, it could be that there was an issue with the CDN or CDN service provider they use for their platforms and as such it ended up affecting the uploading and downloading of media on their platforms.

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