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Whatsapp and Insta are down – that's how much users are suffering

Whatsapp and Insta are down – that's how much users are suffering

Whatsapp and Instagram temporarily stopped working at all on Wednesday evening. Are we lost without services? Classifies the media researcher.

A young woman is active on WhatsApp on her cell phone. But what happens if the messaging service fails? – Corner stone

The basics in a nutshell

  • WhatsApp and Instagram were temporarily shut down on Wednesday evening. Frustrating for many.
  • One media researcher explains why this is a very bad thing for some users.
  • Many people are afraid of losing something.

WhatsApp and Instagram were temporarily shut down on Wednesday. Users all over the world were affected.

Hannah S.* was one of them – and to her it was not all just an inconvenience. She even found the social isolation this disorder brought frightening.

“It's really strange to realize how little it is, that nothing is right anymore,” she told “I rely heavily on communicating with my friends and checking Instagram.”

Opinion poll

Have you noticed the interruption of WhatsApp and Instagram?

Yes, that was very annoying!


No, that passed me by.


Even if it only takes an hour, Hannah believes: “Digital communication is so ubiquitous today that it is scary that it will disappear.”

In fact, WhatsApp and Instagram are actively used in Switzerland. Whether it is an information or entertainment channel – services have become an integral part of daily life. No wonder it's frustrating for many when they're short.

“Fear of missing out”

When asked, media researcher Kieran Kapler from the University of Zurich explained: “If such services fail in a short time, this primarily leads to anger and frustration.”

Two years ago, WhatsApp and Instagram witnessed major disruption. But at that time it continued for several hours.

“I can remember it relatively well because I was on Whatsapp all the time because of a guy. So I was always hoping he would write to me. And then I got so nervous that I couldn't check,” says one reader.

The media researcher also describes this phenomenon, calling it “FoMO” (Fear of Missing Out). “Suddenly we are no longer available or afraid to lose something.” These are exactly the important motivations behind using services often and regularly.

If such a platform is canceled in the long term or completely, there will likely only be a postponement. This also happens, for example, when the service does not meet users' needs.

I saw this on X, Twitter previously. Many were no longer satisfied with the platform and thus left it. “Instead, they turned to services like Bluesky, Threads, or Mastodon,” Kapler says. It would be similar if Instagram and WhatsApp suddenly disappeared.

Teenagers run away from negative feelings

Exciting: More than 80 percent of 15-year-olds use social media daily. Of these, about seven percent show problematic use, 2022 data from Sucht Schweiz show.

Social networks are often used to escape from negative emotions. Not being able to access social media as usual can lead to uncertainty, among other things, as they say on demand. However, it is assumed that most users will not have a problem with it if it is only for a short period of time.