WhatsApp back online after global outage of 'a few hours'

FILE PHOTO: A Whatsapp App logo is seen behind a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone that is logged on to Facebook in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, February 20, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

(Reuters) - WhatsApp, a popular messaging service owned by Facebook Inc, suffered a widespread global outage on Wednesday that lasted for several hours before being resolved, the company said.

"Earlier today, WhatsApp users in all parts of the world were unable to access WhatsApp for a few hours. We have now fixed the issue and apologise for the inconvenience," WhatsApp said in an email late Wednesday afternoon.

WhatsApp was down in parts of India, Canada, the United States and Brazil, according to Reuters journalists. It affected people who use the service on Apple Inc's iOS operating system, Alphabet Inc's Android and Microsoft Corp's Windows mobile OS.

WhatsApp's is used by more than 1.2 billion people around the world and is a key tool for communications and commerce in many countries. The service was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion.

(Reporting by Sangameswaran S and Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by David Ingram and Jonathan Weber in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang and Leslie Adler)

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