Johannesburg - Over 5 000 crash reports from South Africa have been submitted to outage reporting website Downdetector after Friday's WhatsApp downtime.
South Africans began reporting issues with the service from 09:00 until 12:00, with some users still complaining of issues by 13:00.
At 17:00 a spokesperson for WhatsApp told Fin24:“Earlier today, WhatsApp users globally had trouble accessing the app for about an hour. This issue has been fixed and we apologise for the inconvenience."
Local experts say that the WhatsApp crash proves that Over-The-Top (OTT) services are not crash proof.
Internet expert and founder of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, said that the morning’s outage, which lasted almost an hour, just caused small delays and was an irritation to users.
“Businesses would not have been critically affected by the WhatsApp downtime. However, if Facebook and Instagram had to go down, it would have a more significant impact on business, because they are more commercial platforms,” Goldstuck told Fin24.
He added that WhatsApp was more for social communications.
“Luckily SMSs are waiting as back-up for OTT services and this also proves that traditional phone calls and SMSs will always have a place,” he said.
The Facebook-owned app was restored by 11:15 and had been down since just after 10:00 on Friday morning. Scores of users from South Africa, India and the UK took to microblogging social network Twitter lamenting the issue.
Update on November 3 at 17:06. This article was updated to reflect WhatsApp's comments.