It was only an hour, but for some, it was the longest hour ever.
Every morning, without fail, I wake up about thirty minutes before my alarm clock goes off. In lieu of trying to force myself back to sleep, I’ve gotten into the habit of just watching YouTube videos in bed until my alarm sounds. You can probably imagine my confusion when, this morning, I tried to open YouTube, only to be greeted by a confusing connection error. I assumed something dumb was happening, and just went back to sleep. Sure enough, when I got up thirty minutes later, everything was fine, but it seems I had missed quite the panic.
This morning, all Google services, including YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, the Play Store, and more were completely down for the count. They were down for about an hour, between 6:55 AM and 7:55 AM Eastern time, but in that time, Google received a veritable flood of outage reports. Outages of YouTube alone were reported no less than 100,000 times, and users of smart tech with Google Assistant integration were reporting errors and failures. Even third-party apps that only use Google services for some back-end stuff like Pokemon GO were completely borked. It wasn’t a local incident, either; outages were confirmed all over the world, including Japan, the UK, the Netherlands, and more.
Google-related hashtags began trending on Twitter, with #YouTubeDOWN in particular swiftly reaching over 10K tweets.
— Anurag (@micro_techie) December 14, 2020
Bit of a millennial moment here: I don't know how to go home
— Aroon Deep (@AroonDeep) December 14, 2020
As of now, all of Google’s services are back up and running as normal, but the question remains as to what actually caused this outage. Google has not yet provided an explanation, though some social media users have begun theorizing that the company was hit with a massive DDoS attack. At the moment, these claims remain unverified.