The biggest thing to happen to the internet all year occurred yesterday when Facebook shut down for almost 6 hours in total.

As a result, messaging services such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger were inaccessible to Facebook's 3.5 billion internet users.

Facebook has since blamed a "faulty configuration change" for the outage.

After the service was restored, Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a statement on Facebook: "Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now.

"Sorry for the disruption today - I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about."

Facebook released a statement reading: "The underlying cause of this outage also impacted many of the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations, complicating our attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem.

"Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication.

"This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centres communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

"Our services are now back online and we're actively working to fully return them to regular operations.

"We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime."

Facebook's shares fell by a whopping 4.9% following the shutdown.

Internet users turned to Twitter, TIkTok and Reddit among other platforms for information and communication during the time period.

Safe to say, there were some fantastic internet memes to arise from the "internet shutdown".