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Instagram, Netflix and Pinterest fail during eastern U.S. storms

June 30, 2012|By Laura J. Nelson
  • A massive thunderstorm in and around Washington, D.C., knocked Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest offline. Above, a screen shot of Netflix's Twitter feed.
A massive thunderstorm in and around Washington, D.C., knocked Netflix,… (Twitter )

More than one type of cloud felt the fury of this weekend’s storms.

The violent winds that knocked out power to more than 3 million in the eastern United States on Friday night also hit Amazon’s Cloud services in Virginia. The sites that depend on that online storage space went down, too -- including Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram.

Without outlets to watch movies, publish sepia snapshots of brunch or publicize a dozen dream wedding dresses, Internet users across the country sank into digital despair.

“Netflix down, Pinterest down, Instagram down,” one user tweeted. “People, if this isn't the sign of the apocalypse I don't know what is.”

“My Instagram is down?” another user wrote in a tweet. “What am I supposed to with my food, eat it?”

In the morning, Pinterest and Netflix were back up and running. The recovery time for Instagram -- a tool to snap photos, apply filters and share with friends -- continued to lag.

“We’re currently experiencing technical difficulties and we’re working to correct the issues,” @InstagramHelp tweeted in a statement. “Thanks for your patience”

The more tech-savvy refreshed Amazon’s server status page, where clinical descriptions of repair efforts gave small clues as to the fate of Instagram’s data.

The data-storing cloud powers digital products in 190 countries, according to Amazon. This is the cloud service’s second failure in two years. The same Northern Virginia data center had a service failure in 2011 that dragged on for four days, according to All Things D.

As the morning wore on and crews in Washington, D.C., worked to restore power and air conditioning to 3 million without, Instagram appeared to be up and running normally.

In the words of @AspenDecker:  “The world can start turning again now that my Instagram is back online. :)”

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Follow Laura on Twitter. Email: laura.nelson@latimes.com

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