The whole world might have held its breath and panicky fingers clicked keyboards and mice as Gmail experienced a widescale outage on Friday, Jan. 24. There are also reports that Google+, Google Hangouts and Google Docs were also down.
Users of Google's cloud-based email started experiencing problems since 2:00 p.m. EST and it appears individual and corporate users were affected. As of reporting, the service is up but some users are still reporting slow loading time or intermittent service.
"Temporary Error (5oo). We're sorry, but your Gmail account is temporarily unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest trying again in a few minutes," the error message read. Clicking the "Show Detailed Technical Info" and it reveals "Numeric Code: 93."
Without access to their inboxes, users resorted to Twitter and Facebook to confirm if it is down for everyone. The hashtag #gmail became the number one trending topic in the United States, even as outage reports flooded in from everywhere, including Canada, Europe, India, and as far as Manila.
"Great #Gmail is down meow. Waiting on my mom, spouse, and entire family to call me for technical support," one Dani Magestor tweeted.
Great #Gmail is down meow. Waiting on my mom, spouse, and entire family to call me for technical support.
— Dani Magestro (@DaniMagicMage) January 24, 2014
Another Twitter user sees a funny side of the story but clearly shows the effects of the outage. "When #Gmail goes down, everything grinds to a halt. When Facebook goes down, we all get more productive," Alec Brownstein tweeted.
When #Gmail goes down, everything grinds to a halt. When Facebook goes down, we all get more productive. — alec brownstein (@jusfonzin) January 24, 2014
The outage appears bigger than Gmail with Google+ system problems surely affecting the comments system of YouTube. Google Docs users also raised their eyebrows when they were temporarily locked out from their files saved in the cloud Drive. Conversations were also paused for Hangouts users.
While the outage for Gmail and other Google services was worldwide, it appears Google has reacted quickly and trying its best to restore the service.The scenario may be compared to the ordeal of Yahoo Mail users in December. The only difference was that Yahoo's email service went down for several days - almost a week.
Yahoo was criticized for handling the outage poorly with individual and business owners complaining about its poor customer service and the company not updating them about its progress in restoring the service. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was also forced to issue an apology. According to her, the problem was traced to a hardware issue at one of its data centers.
Yahoo was screaming Yahoo for a moment on Twitter as it posted, "Gmail is temporarily unavailable..."
Gmail is temporarily unavailable pic.twitter.com/KLNxcQ9zUP
— Yahoo (@Yahoo) January 24, 2014
Google has not released any official statement about the outage as of reporting.