Problems using the Facebook website are nothing new - slow servers, messages going missing, and changes to the interface made ad hoc without informing users first can make Facebook a sometimes very frustrating experience.
However, since 21:10 GMT I’m now receiving the following error message from Facebook.com:
Service Unavailable - DNS failure
The server is temporarily unable to service your request. Please try again later.
I literally logged on, saw a private message for me, and went to click it - then the error message struck.
It’s been like that for a couple of minutes already.
The issue still seems prevalent after about 5 minutes of trying to access Facebook.com, which suggests something potentially serious could be brewing.
Issues relating to bugs and updates is one thing - these can be put down to Facebook’s popularity and traffic straining the servers.
But a DNS problem is more serious - it means the servers can’t be connected to because the domain name is no longer properly pointing to them.
In the meantime, it remains to be seen how long this will continue, but one thing is for certain - with a website as popular and iconic as Facebook, being offline is not a clever thing to happen at all.
UPDATE: As of 21:30 Facebook.com has come back online again. However, it remains to be seen if this problem continues. Facebook reportedly suffered problems with downtime yesterday and earlier this evening. More DNS problems for Facebook as the night draws on?
UPDATE 2: 21:45 Problems with Facebook continue to be intermittent, with the following error now being displayed: An error occurred while processing your request.
Looks like the issues are going to continue for a while.
UPDATE 3: Back online again for 10:05pm GMT, but could be a rough night ahead for FB users.