According to Down Detector, a huge spike in problems with the messaging app was recorded shortly before 5 pm this evening.
An issue on WhatsApp is causing users’ “last seen” status to appear hidden. The feature allows people to decide who can see when they were last active on the app, with “everyone” as the default option.
There is also the option to set the last seen as contacts only or for nobody to be able to see it.
Users of the Facebook-owned app began reporting that their “last seen” had switched from “everyone” to “nobody” without their knowledge.
In addition, people are unable to change it back to “everyone” – any attempt to revert last seen prompts a message reading: “WhatsApp was not able to change privacy setting. Please try again later.”
When users have the last seen status set to “nobody”, it restricts them for seeing when anyone else was on the app last too. The glitch appears to have affected the ability to see when a person is in the process of typing back, which usually informs users at the top of the app.
According to the Down Detector self-reporting website, the largest volume of issue reports seem be clustered around Europe, though people from across the world seem to be raising the problem on Twitter.
WhatsApp was approached for comment on the matter.