On 4 October, Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp experienced a major outage that affected users all over the globe. It appears to have been so serious, that Instagram is now testing in-app notifications to let you know when something is wrong.
The company issued a blog post explaining what the new feature will do. “We know how confusing it can be when temporary issues happen on Instagram,” the post reads. “When they impact engagement or distribution, we also know that it can lead people to think that the problems are unique to them, based on what they post.” This is why the company has decided to tell you, basically, “it’s not you, it’s me.”
The new feature will be available in your Activity Feed when there’s an outage or technical issue, but also when it gets resolved. Interestingly enough, Instagram writes that you won’t get notified every single time there is an outage, but only when they “see that people are confused and looking for answers.” And no, I have no idea what it means and how Instagram will determine if you need the answer or not.
This feature is in the test phase and will only run in the US for the next few months. “Just like any experiment, this may be something we roll out more widely, but we want to start small and learn,” Instagram notes. “And if it makes sense to, we’ll expand to more people.”
I noticed a note about the outage when I opened Instagram, and the notification about it is among the rest of them, too:
I’m not a part of this particular test though, since I’m based out of the US. But I must admit that I’m curious whether if it would work and make more sense for the users.