An outage in Amazon’s cloud means that some of the world’s greatest and most frivolous entertainments are suddenly not available. Immediately, customers whine.

Written by Chris Matyszczyk / Courtesy of


(Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Some clouds can simply eliminate others.

At 11.21pm ET last night, as the deep and the desperate began to settle down for a weekend of streaming movies and retro photography, thunder and lightning decided to bring a natural end to their plans.

Forbes reported that such bastions of modern entertainment as Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram were eliminated from the firmament.

The cause was reportedly an outage at Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud in North Virginia, brought on by a thunder and lightning show. Yes, Amazon’s clouds are actually Earth-based.

Naturally, as panic ensued across so many smoke-filled living rooms, companies tried to placate the enraged.

Netflix sent out a tweet of apology, as did Instagram.

(Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

(Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Pinterest, for its part, was very clear about the cause. In its apologetic tweet, it offered the phrase “server outages,” not the vague “technical difficulties” offered by Instagram.

Some may remember that Amazon’s EC2 server experienced something of an outage 2 weeks ago, which suggests that not all is perfect with the cloud’s celestial dream.

Currently, at 4.08am PT, all the sites seem to be back up. However, Pinterest declared on a further tweet that it might not be operating at its pinning fullest for a little while yet.

What some find fascinating, though, is the response of customers to this late night lapse.

Within minutes, Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram were anointed with the tweets of the annoyed.

“Hey,” wrote one Charl Lee-Pearce, “where did my left column go? I can’t see what people are pinning or following or new followers. =(”

What it is to suddenly be left bereft of one’s left column.

I am sure a lady called Rene spoke for a vast swathe of humanity when she tweeted to Instagram: “I’m bored hurry uppppp !!! ?#whine? @InstagramHelp.”

Another Instagramer, Quantreus Hayes, offered: “@InstagramHelp we can see that, y’all need to tweet wen y’all fix the problem, I knew y’all messed up wen Instagram 4 androids happened.”

As for Netflix, which has tried to rise from something of its own storms of late, criticism also bathed over it on Twitter.

A distressed Amar Chugg wrote: “@netflix I was watching my favorite show & you guys screwed up on a cliffhanger. Disappointed.”

At least these companies — only one of which actually takes money from its faithful — can blame Amazon and whoever it is who creates weather.

Whom, though, can the people claiming not to be able to live without picture-posting and product-pinning blame?

(Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)