On Twitter, Facebook blamed the outage on a "server configuration change".
From about noon NY time Wednesday, global users encountered only partially loaded pages or no content at all on Facebook's main social network and its related services, including photo-sharing site Instagram and messaging tools Messenger and WhatsApp.
However, the latest Facebook service outage shows the issues that arise when attempting to consolidate a number of online services and apps together.
In 2008, Facebook was knocked offline by a bug that affected many of its 80 million users. The hashtag #FacebookDown was a popular theme on Twitter.More news: 'Children trapped' after school building collapses in Nigeria
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Argentina-based designer Rebecca Brooker told the BBC that Facebook's outage severely affected her work.
Facebook took to its Twitter account Wednesday to assure users that the outage wasn't due to a "distributed denial of service" attack, or DDoS, meaning the disturbance wasn't the result of hacker attacks.
"Instagram is down, so I have no choice but to post this picture of Watson on a grassy hillside here instead", wrote another user, posting a picture of a pet dog. Facebook's ad platform, Facebook Ad Manager, was also down.
Shares declined 1.8 percent in NY, and have jumped 32 percent this year through Wednesday's close.
According to the report, a grand jury in NY has subpoenaed information from at least two major smartphone makers about such arrangements with Facebook.
Over the past year, the social network has announced a series of moves to tighten handling of data, including eliminating most of its data-sharing partnerships with outside companies. And Spotify and Netflix reportedly were allowed to see user private message information.