Instagram is down for the second time this week with thousands of users unable to get online.

It comes days after Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp crashed for hours amid a global outage.

The outage lasted for over five hours with users complaining that they were unable to access their news feed, post content or keep in touch with friends and family.

Users took to DownDetector to report problems at around 7:30pm on Friday night.

At the time of writing there were as many as 15,000 reported issues, 59% of which were linked to the app.

Users are met with a warning that says: " is currently unable to handle this request."

Facebook outage caused by error

The photo sharing platform is owned by Facebook who blamed this week’s earlier outage on an error during a routine maintenance job.

Billions of the platforms’ users had been left unable to get online on Monday by the fault, which the company said was “an outage caused not by malicious activity, but an error of our own making”.

Santosh Janardhan, Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure, said that during what was “routine maintenance work” on the firm’s backbone network “a command was issued with the intention to assess the availability of global backbone capacity, which unintentionally took down all the connections in our backbone network, effectively disconnecting Facebook data centres globally”.

Writing in a blog post he said: “Our systems are designed to audit commands like these to prevent mistakes like this, but a bug in that audit tool prevented it from properly stopping the command.

“This change caused a complete disconnection of our server connections between our data centres and the internet. And that total loss of connection caused a second issue that made things worse.”

Mr Janardhan said it also took time to fix because of the way Facebook’s servers are designed, in order to offer better physical security.

“They’re hard to get into, and once you’re inside, the hardware and routers are designed to be difficult to modify even when you have physical access to them,” he said.

He confirmed that Facebook then had to bring the servers back online slowly, to avoid any further issues.