Tens of thousands of people around the world were thrown into disarray today as the entirety of the Google-owned family of apps crashed worldwide for one hour.
The outage affected all of the Google apps and websites, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Maps and YouTube as well as the main search engine.
Google’s websites are some of the most popular in the world, with video-streaming site YouTube frequented by more than two billion people every month.
Gmail meanwhile is the world’s most popular email platform with 1.5 billion users.
Outages are rare at Google, which was the third company to be worth more than $1trillion, and there has been no explanation provided for today’s difficulties.
Rival tech firms including Facebook regularly have connectivity problems, with a mass outage striking the Mark Zuckerberg-owned family of apps last week.
Messenger, Facebook and Instagram went down for four hours last Thursday, with issues starting at 9:30am GMT and enduring until the afternoon.
WhatsApp was unaffected but other services were malfunctioning, with users unable to send or receive messages.
Pictured, the pike and drop in the number of user reports for Google and its owned apps. Discord is not a Google app, but all the others are
Today’s mass crash also affected Google Home and Nest, which allows people to control their heating and lights among other things.
With Google Assistant forced offline some customer were left with a defunct doorbell while others were unable to turn on, or off, their lights.
Outage tracker site DownDetecter clocked tens of thousands of users reporting issues with the sites around 11:40am.
Problems were reported mainly in Europe but also in Australia, the east coast of the USA and parts of Africa, South America and Asia.
There has been no official update from Google regarding what caused the global outage and if services have been fully restored.
By 11:54am GMT there was more than 50,000 complaints for YouTube alone, with half (49 per cent) regarding the website and 43 per cent pertaining to problems watching videos.
Gmail had 23,000 complaints before midday and Google’s main site had a reported 19,000 complaints.
Eighty-one and 91 per cent of the issues with these sites, respectively, was to do with logging in, according to DownDetector.
YouTube lost £1.3million during outage
Shopping site Lovethesales.com crunched the numbers on how much money the Google crash cost from YouTube.
Based on a 37minute period of downtime, the company likely lost just shy of £1.3million, it says.
This is based on the fact YouTube reported in the fourth quarter of 2020 that it made 34.648billion in Ad revenue.
When broken down by the minute, this equates to £35,092 of Ad revenue a minute, or £2.106million an hour.
For 37 minutes, that means it may have lost an estimated £1.298million due to the outrage.
MailOnline has approached Google for comment.
The number of reports spiked at midday before rapidly dropping to around their normal level at 1pm GMT.
Other affected sites included Google Meet, Hangouts and the Play Store as well as the Pokemon Go game, which is made by Niantic, another Google-owned company.
Google’s online dashboard that tracks the status of all its services reveals the problem is ubiquitous across all Google services.
YouTube, the massive video-streaming site owned by Google is also offline. Pictured, the screen than many users are getting as they try and get on the site
Pictured, the screen that appears when trying to access Gmail
Users took to Twitter to discuss the ailing Google and its widespread issues, with some lamenting the impact it had on remote workers.
Others took the rare Google outage as an opportunity to poke fun at the tech giant.
Tom Phillips, editor of Full Fact, quipped: ‘google is in tier 4’.
Today’s Google issues and Facebook’s widespread outage last week are the latest problems to hit ‘Big Tech’.
Last week, US federal regulators the FTC filed a lawsuit against Facebook and so too did a coalition of 56 states, Washington DC and Guam.
They accuse Facebook and its family of ultra-popular apps of illegally acquiring its competitors in a ‘predatory’ manner in order to dominate the market and running an illegal monopoly.
The suit was filed on Wednesday and is being spearheaded by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
‘For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals, snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users,’ said James.
‘Facebook targets competitors with a ‘buy or bury’ approach: if they refuse to be bought out, Facebook tries to squeeze every bit of oxygen out of the room for these companies,’ her office said.
The end result of the legal action could result in Facebook being forced to sell Instagram and WhatsApp.
The action by both Democratic and Republican officials highlights the growing political consensus to hold Big Tech accountable.
In October, the US Department of Justice launched a suit against Google which accused the $1trillion firm of using its market power to fend off rivals.