Sheltered-in cut off from Snapchat

San Francisco (AFP) –


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

"We're aware many Snapchatters are having trouble using the app. Hang tight - we're looking into it," said a tweet from the application operated by parent Snap Inc.

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

The outage came as sheltered-in people worldwide were turning to social media for information and entertainment amid 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 percent 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 effort 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 percent of all 13- to 34-year-olds in the United States.

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