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Sheltering consumers shut out of Snapchat for hours

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The Snapchat application popular with young smartphone users went offline on Wednesday for undetermined reasons, the company said.

[SAN FRANCISCO] The Snapchat application popular with young smartphone users went offline on Wednesday for undetermined reasons, the company said.

The outage, the cause of which was not explained by the company, lasted several hours, making unavailable the service known for its disappearing messages and other content.

"We're aware many Snapchatters are having trouble using the app. Hang tight - we're looking into it," said a tweet from Snapchat Support.

The first reports of the outage came around 1330 GMT, according to the monitoring website Downdetector.

Around 2030 GMT, a new message said the service was restored.

"We've patched things up," the updated post said. "If you're still having trouble, please let us know!"

Parent firm Snap Inc. did not respond to a query about the outage.

It came as people worldwide were turning to social media for information and entertainment as they sheltered at home from the coronavirus pandemic.

Snapchat said last week it saw huge jumps in engagement with the app as a result of the crisis, with real-time communication up 50 per cent in March.

To support the global Covid-19 relief efforts, Snapchat has launched a new augmented reality donation effort allowing users to donate to relief efforts through its "Snapchat Lenses," glasses designed for the app.

An image and video sharing tool especially popular among teens, Snapchat claims the app is regularly used by 75 per cent of all 13- to 34-year-olds in the United States.

It has 190 million daily users - about 60 million more than Twitter - but is still operating at a loss.

AFP

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