The site’s TeamYouTube account acknowledged the problems in a Twitter post. “If you’re having trouble watching videos on YouTube right now, you’re not alone — our team is aware of the issue and working on a fix. We’ll follow up here with any updates,” it tweeted at 7:23 p.m. ET.
According to monitoring site DownDetector, user-reported YouTube problems spiked at around 7 p.m. ET. The issues appeared most acute in the Northeast U.S., the U.K. and Western Europe, as well as in Mexico, Australia and South America. Around 95% of the issues reported were with watching videos, per DownDetector.
Users who tried to play videos on YouTube video encountered a spinning wheel, with videos failing to initiate playback (before sometimes starting after several minutes). YouTube was sporadically displaying error messages, including one that says “An error occurred. Please try again later.” For some users, YouTube’s homepage was not loading. Google’s YouTube TV subscription-television service also was down, according to user reports on social media.
The problems were evident on desktop and mobile apps, as well as connected-TV devices including Google’s Chromecast. YouTube ads also were not loading during the technical outage.
Extended outages are rare for YouTube, which boasts more than 2 billion monthly logged-in users and claims it streams more than 1 billion hours of video daily.
In October 2018, YouTube experienced global access problems for approximately 90 minutes, with the issues also affecting YouTube TV and YouTube Music services.