Just in case you’ve just come out of hibernation or are looking at a computer screen for the first time after living out in the woods for the last seven years, Facebook faced massive outages last week. Twice. Which also led to Instagram and WhatsApp going down.
Now, the first half-hour of both outages saw a lot of people asking themselves, “Is something wrong here? Or is it just my electronics freaking out?”. That’s the normal reaction to not being able to get online, and it made it a little difficult to tell what was going on on Monday and Friday last week. To save you that confusion the next time Facebook goes down, Instagram will let you know when it’s caused by a problem on its end with an in-app notification.
“It’s not you, it’s me,” says Instagram
Instagram will now send you a notification via your Activity Feed should it experience any technical difficulties. Kind of.
“We won’t send a notification every single time there is an outage, but when we see that people are confused and looking for answers, we’ll determine if something like this could help make things clearer,” says the platform in an announcement.
Which is just vague enough for Instagram to get away with not saying anything when something goes wrong and not a lot of people are talking about it. Good job.
Still, it’s a worthwhile effort. The photo (and video) sharing platform is testing the new feature in the US first but says it should expand it out within a few months.
Additionally, Instagram is introducing an “Account Status” tool that’ll tell you exactly what’s happening to your account at any given point. It appears that the tool’s main use will be for people to see if and why the content of theirs was taken down (for violating content policies or something similar). From the Account Status page, users will also be able to request a review of their content if they think Instagram made a mistake in taking it down.