Users on both popular platforms were left unable to load the sites for hours, and thousands of people were unable to access their accounts entirely.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed outages had hit its ‘family of apps’ and that the firm is working to fix the issue.
The global outage affected users in the US, UK, mainland Europe as well as parts of Australia and South America.
Issues were first reported early Tuesday morning and, although service resumed in some areas, many were still having trouble getting on the sites by 5pm ET.
It comes less than a day after Facebook Messenger crashed for users around the world.
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The global outage has affected users in the US, UK, mainland Europe and parts of Australia and South America
Users from across the world reported problems with Facebook on the website Downdetector. Pictured is a heat map showing where complaints sent to the site originated
A Facebook spokesperson said the tech giant was investigating the issue.
‘We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps,’ the spokesperson told ABC News.
‘We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.’
The outage left many users seeing only a ‘service unavailable’ message and others unable to log in or view pictures.
Instagram users were unable to use the web service but the app appeared to be functioning as normal.
Almost half of people (48 per cent) reporting issues with Facebook experienced total blackout and a further 50 per cent reported issues with logging in and picture loading, 35 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
Users took to rival site Twitter to voice their displeasure at the inability to use the Facebook-owned sites.
One user called Jordan, said: ‘So Facebook and Instagram are down? Well, that leaves me with very few ways to communicate with people.#FacebookDown #Instagram.’
Jason Roberts, from Kansas City in the US, added: ‘Looks like Facebook is down, you all will have to get some work done when you get to the office.’
In the US Facebook users in New York, Washington, Minneapolis and Houston reported the most problems
Toronto, Boston, New York and Montreal have experienced the more issues with Instagram in North America
Users took to rival site Twitter to voice their displeasure at the inability to use the Facebook-owned sites. One user called Jordan, said: ‘So Facebook and Instagram are down? Well, that leaves me with very few ways to communicate with people’
Jason Roberts, from Kansas City in the US, also tweeted: ‘Looks like Facebook is down, you all will have to get some work done when you get to the office’
A barrage of memes and GIFs were posted on Twitter as disappointed users voiced their frustration.
Facebook confirmed the outage in a brief statement on its page.
It read: ‘We are currently experiencing issues that may cause some API requests to take longer or fail unexpectedly.
‘We are investigating the issue and working on a resolution.’
Facebook has more than 2.2 billion users worldwide, while Instagram – which is owned by Facebook – has more than one billion active users.
Neither Facebook or Instagram has commented on the cause of the issue.
Similar issues were reported for sister firm Instagram as 46 per cent of people stated issues with the loading of the news feed (46 per cent), logging in (31 per cent) and loading the website (21 per cent).
Yesterday saw Facebook’s vast conglomerate was hit with another technical issue as Messenger crashed.
Most users (49 percent) reported they were unable to connect to the server on Monday afternoon.
Users on both popular platforms have been left unable to load the apps and hundreds of people have been left unable to access their accounts
This heat map shows problems with Instagram reported to the website Downdetector. Thousands have complained they are unable to access their accounts
Many also indicated that they were having trouble receiving messages (28 per cent), while others said they could not log in at all (22 per cent).
The app appears to have crashed shortly after 8pm GMT, with thousands of reports streaming in before 8:30.
Messenger users in Europe were worst affected by the issue Monday afternoon, with a majority of reports coming from the UK, Ireland, Poland, Belgium, and Denmark.
This heat map shows where reported problems with Facebook have come from in Europe. Both Facebook and Instagram have gone down
In Europe, Instagram users in Moscow, London, Milan and Amsterdam have been hit hardest by the surprise outage
Users in the United States were hit by the outage as well, with most of the issues here popping up along the West Coast.
Just last week, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram users around the world were left in a ‘total blackout’ for nearly an hour after the site crashed early on Nov 12.
Those who attempted to access the desktop site were met with a message saying ‘Sorry, something went wrong,’ while mobile users were unable to refresh the News Feed.
FACEBOOK’S PRIVACY DISASTERS
Facebook in late September disclosed that it had been hit by its worst ever data breach, affecting 50 million users – including those of Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Attackers exploited the site’s ‘View As’ feature, which lets people see what their profiles look like to other users.
The unknown attackers took advantage of a feature in the code called ‘Access Tokens,’ to take over people’s accounts, potentially giving hackers access to private messages, photos and posts – although Facebook said there was no evidence that had been done.
The hackers also tried to harvest people’s private information, including name, sex and hometown, from Facebook’s systems.
Facebook said it doesn’t yet know if information from the affected accounts has been misused or accessed, and is working with the FBI to conduct further investigations.
However, Mark Zuckerberg assured users that passwords and credit card information was not accessed.
Facebook says it has found no evidence ‘so far’ that hackers broke into third-party apps after a data breach exposed 50 million users (stock image)
As a result of the breach, the firm logged roughly 90 million people out of their accounts earlier today as a security measure.
Facebook made headlines earlier this year after the data of 87 million users was improperly accessed by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy.
The disclosure has prompted government inquiries into the company’s privacy practices across the world, and fueled a ‘#deleteFacebook’ movement among consumers.
Communications firm Cambridge Analytica had offices in London, New York, Washington, as well as Brazil and Malaysia.
The company boasts it can ‘find your voters and move them to action’ through data-driven campaigns and a team that includes data scientists and behavioural psychologists.
‘Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections,’ with data on more than 230 million American voters, Cambridge Analytica claims on its website.
The company profited from a feature that meant apps could ask for permission to access your own data as well as the data of all your Facebook friends.
The data firm suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix (pictured), after recordings emerged of him making a series of controversial claims, including boasts that Cambridge Analytica had a pivotal role in the election of Donald Trump
This meant the company was able to mine the information of 87 million Facebook users even though just 270,000 people gave them permission to do so.
This was designed to help them create software that can predict and influence voters’ choices at the ballot box.
The data firm suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, after recordings emerged of him making a series of controversial claims, including boasts that Cambridge Analytica had a pivotal role in the election of Donald Trump.
This information is said to have been used to help the Brexit campaign in the UK.
It has also suffered several previous issues.
2013, Facebook disclosed a software flaw that exposed 6 million users’ phone numbers and email addresses to unauthorized viewers for a year, while a technical glitch in 2008 revealed confidential birth-dates on 80 million Facebook users’ profiles.