Roughly 45 minutes later, the dashboard issued a status message indicating all services were back online for most affected users. The company later apologized for the disruption in an emailed statement and said it would “conduct a thorough follow up review to ensure this problem cannot recur in the future.”
Though brief, the outage underscores the tech power’s influence in day-to-day life, especially during the pandemic, which rapidly accelerated the move to teleworking and remote learning worldwide in the effort to contain the spread of covid-19.
Users and outage trackers such as Downdetector reported access issues on Google’s platforms in the United States, India, Mexico, Finland, Japan and the United Kingdom.
YouTube users were greeted by error messages in the form of a cartoon monkey with a hammer and the words “Something went wrong.” The hashtag #YouTubeDown began trending on Twitter within minutes.
“I’m sitting here in the dark in my toddler’s room because the light is controlled by @Google Home,” one Twitter user posted. “Rethinking … a lot right now.”
Alphabet’s combined platforms boast billions of global users, though it’s unclear how many were affected by the outages.
According to Kentik, which analyzes flow data showing volumes of traffic from its online customers, YouTube’s traffic dipped 56 percent during its lowest point of volume on Monday.
Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis at Kentik, said the problem with user authentication seemed to degrade over time, rather than malfunction instantaneously.
“It looks like the pipes to the Internet were up and fine,” Madory said. “It seems to relate to authentication … but I don’t know if that’s the root cause.”