Several social media platforms are dedicated to providing entertainment. There is SoundCloud for music lovers. And then there is YouTube for people who want to watch videos.
These websites have a massive user base. They are extremely popular among the netizens. If you want proof, YouTube’s reign as the world’s largest video-hosting website should be enough. TikTok came up and challenged YouTube for the title. But the Alphabet Inc-owned titan still prevailed.
Both Statista and Global Media Insight reports that YouTube has more than 2 billion users. That is a crazy amount of people that relied on the platform to ease boredom.
And if they are not looking for entertainment, perhaps they are looking for news. News organizations have included YouTube in their operations. Consequently, YouTube became a reliable source of information. This user behavior made YouTube the world’s number two search engine. It is second only to Google, which is a very impressive feat.
You get the idea. Many people depend on YouTube. And as more people get into social media, the number is ever-increasing. So what happens when YouTube suddenly goes down?
YouTube December 2021 Outage
On December 15, 2021, thousands of people lost access to YouTube. The case is either the app won’t launch properly, or the connection was slow as a turtle. As you would expect, people were dismayed.
A grand total of 15,000 people reported the YouTube outage, according to Downdetector. They were frustrated and wanted the issue to be fixed as soon as possible.
And that, YouTube did. Its official Twitter handle – @TeamYoutube, tweeted about the issue. The tweet acknowledged the problem and said the YouTube team had fixed it. That was confirmed by the decrease in the number of reports on Downdetector, the global website outage monitor.
The tweet stated that the issue lasted for 20 minutes. However, YouTube did not confirm what caused it. Nevertheless, people liked the speedy action.
Other YouTube Outages this Year
The December 2021 incident is not the only outage YouTube has experienced in the last 12 months. According to ToolTester, there have been 65 different outages in the US and 63 in the UK. It is an alarming amount of instances. These numbers put YouTube 4th in rank on the websites most susceptible to outages list. But that is only in the US. In the UK, it is not as bad. There, YouTube is on the 13th spot. Still, being included in these lists proves the fragility of the website.
People Most Affected by Outages
Suppose you only have 1 hour of free time. Your favorite way to spend that is by watching content from YouTubers you like. Then you found out that you can’t do that because YouTube is down. For sure, you would be frustrated. You have to do something else that you do not find as enjoyable. That would not be a great use of your limited free time.
Or perhaps you are doing research. You prefer watching documentaries over reading more than 10,000-word long studies. That type of content is easy to find on YouTube. But with the website out, you can’t watch these documentaries. You either have to look for these videos somewhere else. Or worse, you have to settle with reading your much-dreaded gigantic wall of text.
Those are really unfortunate. But, watchers on YouTube are not the most affected by outages. That would be the content creators. If you were not aware, youTube has a partnership program that lets content creators earn money from the videos they publish. When outages happen, no new views come into their channels. The longer the downtime, the more affected the content creators will be.
YouTube Views Outages Impacts Monetization Differently
New content creators who haven’t qualified for monetization yet also dislike YouTube outages. To be eligible for monetization, they must have tallied 4,000 hours of overall watch time in the past 12 months. Furthermore, they also must meet the subscriber requirement, which says they must have at least 1,000 subscribers. A few hours of downtime prolongs their pre-monetization period since nothing changes their channel’s stats.
So the view count remains stagnant. But that is not the only inconvenience downtime caused. Content creators also cannot upload new videos. They have to wait until the platform is back online. That is not ideal when the content creator follows a strict schedule. Those struggling creators who are on the thin red line often capitulate the downside risks of a YouTube Views Outage, which could permanently impact the very monetization of their channel, and opt to buy YouTube views before the views potentially drop off altogether, ensuring they make it across the finish line. There are very real, and very silly myths and facts around the purchasing of YouTube views, but like paying for an audience to stand outside a new restaurant, creating the algorithmic buzz always was and always will be the top priority for any digital marketer and online brand.
How People React
People these days have become too reliant on social media platforms. So when things go wrong with these websites and apps, people get horrified. What many do is report the outage on Downdetector to notify the platform, YouTube- for example, of the problem. But those who do not know this website turn to other social media platforms to voice their complaints. On Twitter, they used the hashtag #YouTubeDown.
In the outages last year, many people chose to be humorous when talking about the issue. They posted memes about the YouTube outage. Some people said they restarted their routers several times, thinking their connection had a problem. They cursed their ISPs, and some even sent their gadgets to the grave out of frustration. That’s only to find out the issue was at YouTube’s end. And when the website came back online, someone said they should apologize to their routers and devices.
But perhaps the pandemic has worn down a lot of people. There were not many “memetic moments” to be found in this incident – only confusion and complaints. Though, you can attribute that to how long the downtime was. This incident did not last even half an hour. So people did not have much time to react.
Anyway, the gist is, people hate it when YouTube suddenly goes down. It causes a lot of inconveniences. So, they do what they can to inform the team there is a problem. Methods of reporting include formal ways, badmouthing, or via memes – three different ways, one goal. That is to regain access to YouTube as soon as possible so they can continue sharing or watching videos.
How Do You React when YouTube Goes Down?
Maybe it’s time for a little self-reflection after learning about these often under-reported stories and perspectives from people whom you may or may not have ever thought about. The instant gut reaction to “wow, YouTube is down” is often a meme about a bored society, twiddling their thumbs, but it can just as likely be rage-inducing table smashing as a new content creator has the past two years of work put on the monetization block as they lose everything due to a new and simple rule change, forcing them to either cave-in to the third-party system of buying YouTube views or falling to their knees and begging for forgiveness.
What happens in your head when you smash that YouTube button and nothing comes on the screen except the spinning loading symbol on your TV or the server-down splash screen on your phone’s browser? Do you just cycle through to your next main content aggregation website? Would you put down the electronics altogether and go for a brisk walk outside to enjoy the weather? Do you smash the half-empty bottle of wine across the countertop as your vegan ensemble of appetizers fails to whet your whistle for the 1,000th time since you made your transition to veganism?
Everyone responds differently to trauma, and everyone responds differently to when their beloved YouTube platform goes down. Maybe next time it does go down, you take the moment for yourself, go stand and gaze silently in the mirror and ask yourself questions you know you already have the answer to, and see how you respond. YouTube will be back, and it will likely be even better than before, with new content – but will you continue to improve yourself?