Sound the sirens! Hide from millennials! Snapchat went down, and the outcry was loud, to say the least. Those who heed this cautionary tale could avoid a similar situation.
According to Down Collector, Snapchat first started experiencing its mobile app outage in the early morning of Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Around 2 a.m. EST, users in Western Europe (most Americans weren't awake yet) began to notice issues when trying to open the popular mobile app, refresh their feeds and sign into their accounts. In addition, Snapchatters couldn't send or receive videos, making the social media app pretty useless for a long period of time.
At approximately 4:20 a.m. EST, Snapchat tweeted, confirming the mobile app downtime and reporting that the company was trying to resolve the issues, but it provided no further details. Of course, this didn't stop users from trying to use the social media platform, however, and the number of individuals indicating issues continued to grow. By around 7 a.m. EST, there were thousands of complaints made on Down Collector every few minutes.
So many tweets
To vent their frustrations in a more public fashion, Snapchat users took to Twitter. Snapchat's initial message alone was retweeted almost 8,000 times, and its support page was bombarded with @replies. That is the least of Snapchat's worries. Twitter lit up with complaints, as users lamented their inability to send snaps and videos for all of the world to see.
my neighbour started screaming next door and i thought she was getting murdered but then i heard her yellin about snapchat being down
Caito Potatoe (@Caito_Potatoe) December 8, 2015
One tweet cited by the Independent stood out amongst the rest. Twitter user @knicole_92 explained that she only uses Twitter to figure out if other mobile apps are experiencing outages. This is the problem that brands and mobile app developers should worry about: Everyone knows about the Snapchat downtime now, whether they regularly access that app or not. The outage is less of a technical crisis at this point – it's now a fire that PR must put out.
The issue causing Snapchat's mobile app downtime is unknown as of writing this blog post, but the lesson is clear: Mobile app developers and QA teams need to conduct mobile app testing if they want to prevent a similar incident. More importantly, by practicing mobile monitoring, brands can catch these problems before users do and proactively prevent disasters and crashes before they become social media storms and morning news headlines — which was exactly the case in the Snapchat situation.
Perfecto’s Continuous Quality Lab helps perfect the digital experiences that define your brand. Learn more