The streaming service giant YouTube was down for a few hours, causing the public to go online and express their confusion.
The hashtag #YouTubeDown trended worldwide, and netizens sighed in relief when they realized it was not just them who were experiencing problems.
A spike over at DownDetector proves millions of people worldwide had checked on what happened to the streaming service. Fortunately, the issue has been resolved, and YouTube is back up and ready for usage.
Both the Google Cloud status dashboard and the G Suite Status dashboard report green throughout the outage, but checking on social media applications such as Twitter showed the reports of the problem.
It should be noted that DownDetector's general reports are correct in the abstract when it comes to the existence of an outage, but it is not entirely precise. Reports can still bleed over to other services that are not affected like ISPs.
The outage may have affected other services too, but combing through more organic reports, show that it was limited to YouTube and its related services, including YouTube Music and YouTube TV. Play Store was also affected by the outage.
When the outage started, the YouTube website seemed to work just fine, but videos played would continuously show the loading wheel, making users think that there was an issue with their internet connection. Some users shared on Twitter that the video played after a minute but found it difficult to search for other videos.
Near the end of the outage, YouTube displayed an error message "An error occurred Playback ID: [a unique alphanumeric string goes here]) Tap to retry)."
TeamYouTube immediately acknowledged the problem and posted a message on their official Twitter account, noting that they were working on fixing the issue as soon as possible. The YouTube Help forum also posted updates to help users keep track of the issue.
The reason behind the outage was not clear, as the official message from TeamYouTube was vague, and they have not given other explanations.
YouTube is back up
As of 8:39 p.m. ET, YouTube was starting to work again, and at 9:13 p.m. ET, TeamYouTube posted another message on their Twitter account, announcing that the issue had been resolved, and users worldwide can stream again.
YouTube has not explained the cause of the outage, but it is expected that a postmortem analysis will be available on YouTube's forums in the next few days.
In September 2020, Google, the company that manages YouTube, had a much more widespread outage, and it affected its other services such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Nest. A minor outage that affected Google Drive also happened.
In March 2020, another outage happened, and the same platforms were affected. In April 2020, Nest was affected by an outage, making this year a tough one for Google.
Last year, netizens were also surprised when Google and its services, including YouTube, Gmail, Snapchat, Nest, and Discord, were down, affecting those in the East Coast of the United States and some YouTube and Gmail users in Europe.