When Facebook goes down, where do you turn? Er, Twitter

Not a lot of "likes" were happening on Facebook last night. Facebook campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo / AP
Not a lot of "likes" were happening on Facebook last night. Facebook campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo / AP

Facebook users worldwide have rushed onto Twitter to vent their dismay - and trade jokes - after a glitch left them briefly unable to reach friends on the social networking giant.

For about half an hour, starting at around 8pm last night NZ time, users were greeted with the message, "Sorry, something went wrong," when they tried to access their accounts.

Thousands headed to Twitter to make sure they were not alone in their Facebook-free plight, many posting under the hashtag #Facebookdown.

"A moment of silence for all of those who had to interact face to face #facebookdown," wrote the user Herbert, who tweets as @topsupstore.

Online wags were quick to mock those who were panicking.

"I imagine millions wandering in aimless post-apocalyptic shock desperately searching for friends and family #Facebookdown #FacebookBackUp," wrote Mark Little from the account @marklittlenews.

Others wondered aloud how the world would keep turning if people were unable to post updates of their airport transit lounge, what they were eating for breakfast or amusing photos of their pets.

"Probably be best for society these days if Facebook actually went down, too many people living their lives with phones in hand #facebookdown," wrote Scott King, from the account @ScottKing4.

Most users in the Americas slept through the outage, which the cloud-computing firm Cedexis said lasted about an 40 minutes in France, but access and traffic were also impacted in many other countries including in Russia, Spain and England.

"Earlier this morning, we experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time," Facebook said in a statement apologising for the incident.

"We resolved the issue quickly and we are now back to 100 per cent."

Facebook is the world's most popular social network and sees more than 1.2 billion active users each month.

Though much of its traffic is driven by light-hearted posts between friends, it has become a vital tool for countless businesses and organisations and a key forum for communication in countries with repressive media.

- AFP

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