Yesterday afternoon, at 2:48 pm ET, our staff noticed that Amazon's website appeared to be down, and the ever-official downforeveryoneorjustme.com confirmed it. The e-commerce site continued to fail for the next 40 minutes (some media outlets claim that it was for as little as 15 minutes, but Buzzfeed agrees with us), leaving us unable to buy things like a 24-pack of medicated lip balm or to test our newly-discovered Amazon Name Game to find out what our "spirit product" is.
While 40 minutes isn't an outrageous amount of time of inactivity, the stakes are naturally much higher for the mega-retailer. In fact, the last time Amazon saw a substantial outage — in late January of 2013, for 49 minutes — Wired estimated that the company lost about $5.7 million in sales, or the equivalent of selling about 28,643 Kindle Fire HDs. By those estimates, yesterday's 40-minute outage cost Amazon $4.6 million in lost sales.
However, that speculative number is based on average per-minute sales in 2012, and it's likely that the effects of going dark on a Monday afternoon in August are much less financially devastating than they would be during other times of the year. Moreover, Buzzfeed offered a much lower estimate — about $2.6 million — since the site based its calculations on net sales in 2012 for North America alone. Still, that's a pretty staggering amount of money for a period of time that's shorter than most people's lunch break.
Regardless of how much money and deal-shopping time was lost during the blip, shoppers still got some great tweets out of it, and we've displayed some of our favorites below. So maybe, for the internet at large it was a win?
is it me, or is amazon down? Or is it just the world ending?— Kevin Murphy (@kwmurphy) August 19, 2013
http://t.co/Mg8iTH1Be3 is down. I am having a hard time breathing. Hold me internet. Hold me.— William Savona (@williamsavona) August 19, 2013
Internet Users Actually Doing Work Unaware Amazon Was Even Down— Stefan Becket (@stefanjbecket) August 19, 2013
Best headline from today's Amazon outage: "http://t.co/5g2bFOKJia Goes Down, Leaving Millions Forced To Work"— Keri Bertolino (@KeriBostonPR) August 19, 2013
Amazon dies from laughing too hard at all your Washington Post jokes.— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) August 19, 2013
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