Snapchat back online after outage tied to Google


It must’ve been a boring day at school for students in Europe, and almost as lame for youngsters in the U.S. too.

Snapchat, the app that more than 100 million people turn to each day to entertain themselves, suffered a sweeping outage early Tuesday European time. And the issue remained unresolved until Tuesday afternoon in the U.S.

Snapchat had told users, the majority of whom are 24 or younger, it was working to resolve the problems. An individual familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly pointed a finger at Google’s App Engine, a service that enables app developers to use the search giant’s computer infrastructure. A Google website said the issue began at 10 p.m. Pacific time Monday and ended at 1:15 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday.


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Meantime, Snapchat users across the world experienced a range of issues. They weren’t able to send and receive messages from friends, load “Live” videos produced by Snapchat or get updates in the app’s Discover section from media companies such as CNN and Food Network.

Snapchat had been down before, but Tuesday’s issues appeared to be the most widespread since the Venice company began aggressively selling advertising. A daylong outage adds up to millions of dollars in potential revenue not only for Snapchat, but also for the nearly 20 publishers whose ad-supported content is given a premium spot within the Discover feature.

The publishers update their content on Discover once a day, and Tuesday may have been the first time since the feature launched in January that they couldn’t deliver new stories on time. Snapchat didn’t respond to a request for comment.

All the time users spend downloading full-screen videos and photos on Snapchat makes it a force online: The app accounted for more mobile data usage during heavy periods of traffic in North America than all but three apps (YouTube, Facebook and Google), Internet services firm Sandvine recently said.

The Google App Engine outage hasn’t affected many other big-name apps, many of which rely instead on rival services from and Microsoft Corp. Snapchat has been touted as Google App Engine’s biggest customer, spending upward of $25 million annually on the service, the Information reported in July, citing an anonymous source.


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