Google suffered a major outage for about an hour on Monday when many of its most popular services went offline worldwide. This is a vivid reminder of how much people and companies rely on the Silicon Valley giants.
The tech company’s apps – including Calendar, Gmail, Hangouts, Maps, Meet, Stadia, and YouTube – crashed, stopped working around the world, and sent disgruntled users to Twitter to announce the loss of service.
Google has published the failures in a status dashboard, in which information about the various services is exchanged. Downdetector, an internet outage tracking website, also showed that Google was offline. The Google search engine continued to work for some people.
But then, about an hour after the outages began, the services started working again.
A Google spokesman had no immediate comment on the causes of the failure.
Product failures used to be quite common for growing internet companies. However, as Google, Facebook and other companies have grown in size and built complex networks of data centers around the world, the incidents have become less frequent.
System reliability is becoming increasingly important as people and businesses depend on the services to search for information online, find directions, send emails, or access private documents stored on Google’s servers.
Several Google products have more than a billion users worldwide, including Android, Chrome, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Play, Search, and YouTube.
New questions are being raised as to whether the biggest tech companies have gotten too powerful. The industry is facing antitrust lawsuits in the US and new regulations in Europe to curtail its power and enforce new oversight.