Don’t Zoom Now! Video conferencing app has stopped working, preventing thousands of users from joining conferences

Video calling service Zoom appears to be experiencing a major global outage, leaving thousands of users around the world unable to participate in conferences.

The issues started around 3:17 PM BST (10.17 EDT) and are ongoing, according to Downdetector website, which monitors website downtime.

Users in the US and UK both reported being unable to join or start conferences through the website or app.

The company’s service status page reports “degraded performance” for users of its web portal.

“We have received reports from a subset of users who are unable to access Zoom Web Portal. We are currently investigating and will provide updates as we have them,” reads a note on the site posted at 3:38 PM BST (10:38 AM EDT).

A further update posted at 3:59pm BST states: ‘We have resolved an issue that prevented a subset of users from accessing Zoom Web Portal. We will continue to monitor and deliver updates as we have them.”

The outage comes as millions of Britons have been forced to work from home as a result of the national rail strikes.

Video call service Zoom appears to be experiencing a major global outage, leaving thousands of users around the world unable to participate in conferences

Downdetector UK tweeted the news that Zoom was experiencing issues via its official Twitter account

Downdetector UK tweeted the news that Zoom was experiencing issues via its official Twitter account

The problems started around 3:17 PM BST and are ongoing, according to Downdetector website, which monitors website downtime

The problems started around 3:17 PM BST and are ongoing, according to Downdetector website, which monitors website downtime

Thousands in the UK claim they are unable to attend or start conferences via the website or app.

Thousands in the UK claim they are unable to attend or start conferences via the website or app.

The US also appears to be in trouble, with New York, Chicago, Washington and Boston highlighted as hotspots on Downdetector's map

The US also appears to be in trouble, with New York, Chicago, Washington and Boston highlighted as hotspots on Downdetector’s map

The numbers are much higher in the US, with over 13,500 reported issues

The numbers are much higher in the US, with over 13,500 reported issues

Zoom users in both the UK and US took to Twitter to express their frustration (and in some cases, delight) at the outage.

“Zoom doesn’t work and honestly we should just take a day off,” one user wrote.

“What a great way to start my morning at work with the zoom down,” wrote one user from the US, featuring an image of an upside-down smiley face.

“Zoom to get down just in time for the 9:00 am staff meetings is a vibe,” wrote another.

However, the glee was clearly visible in some posts on the social network.

“Zooming down on a meeting day is the closest you’ll get to a snowy day for an adult,” one user wrote.

Zoom users in both the UK and US took to Twitter to express their frustration (and in some cases, delight) over the outage

Zoom users in both the UK and US took to Twitter to express their frustration (and in some cases, delight) over the outage

It’s unclear what’s causing the problem and whether it’s related to other widespread Internet outages affecting websites and services, including Outlook and Cloudflare — a content delivery network that much of the Internet relies on.

Microsoft’s Outlook email platform was hit with a service issue this afternoon, making it inaccessible to some users.

The company confirmed the issue and said it is working to fix it, with no other services currently affected.

According to Microsoft’s own service status website, some Outlook users “may not be able to access their mailbox through any connection method” and may experience “delays in sending, receiving, or opening email messages.”

Microsoft's Outlook email platform has been affected by service issues that have made it inaccessible to some users

Microsoft’s Outlook email platform has been affected by service issues that have made it inaccessible to some users

According to the website monitoring service Down Detector, affected users are seeing messages that they have been unable to connect to a server and are having trouble connecting to the service from various devices.

According to the website monitoring service Down Detector, affected users are seeing messages that they have been unable to connect to a server and are having trouble connecting to the service from various devices.

What is a content delivery network?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a platform of servers that helps minimize delays in loading web page content.

Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist at ESET, explains: “Web pages are located all over the world, so content delivery networks are placed to distribute the data evenly by reducing the physical distance between where it is kept and the end user. This allows users around the world to view the same high-quality information and content without lag or slow loading times.”

According to internet services company Akamai, more than half of internet traffic is served by a CDN.

In a statement posted to the site, Microsoft said, “We are continuing to analyze service monitoring telemetry to identify next troubleshooting steps to mitigate impact.”

The company added that the issue was specific to some users in Europe.

In an update, Microsoft said, “We’ve found that our traffic management infrastructure isn’t working as expected.

“We have successfully rerouted traffic to an alternative traffic management method and we are seeing an improvement in service availability since this process has been completed.

“We will continue to monitor the availability of the service as it improves, while determining the root cause.”

According to Down Detector, affected users are seeing messages that they have been unable to connect to a server and are having trouble connecting to the service from various devices.

The security service showed that it started receiving reports of problems around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Many frustrated Outlook users have also taken to Twitter to discuss the outage.

One user wrote: ‘I almost threw my laptop out the window before realizing Outlook emails are down.’

Another tweeted: ‘Service has been offline for over three hours and almost all of our mailboxes. This is unbelievably bad.’

And one guy said, ‘Come on Microsoft. This should not happen. Our entire company is crippled without the use of email and it’s been down for hours. Where’s the backup plan!?!? #Ridiculous.’

These outages appear to have nothing to do with an issue at web infrastructure company Cloudflare.

Many frustrated Outlook users have also taken to Twitter to discuss today's outage

Many frustrated Outlook users have also taken to Twitter to discuss today’s outage

A major outage at Cloudflare caused hundreds of websites across the internet to stop working, returning a “500 Internal Server error” message this morning.

A content delivery network (CDN) is a distributed group of servers around the world that work together. Websites use these CDNs to deliver content securely and as quickly as possible from the cloud.

Cloudflare is the most popular content delivery network by some margin.

A major Cloudflare outage caused hundreds of websites across the web to stop working, returning a '500 Internal Server error' message this morning

A major Cloudflare outage caused hundreds of websites across the web to stop working, returning a ‘500 Internal Server error’ message this morning

According to Downdetector, which monitors website outages, websites were affected by the outage as of approximately 7:34 AM this morning, including Discord, Shopify, Fitbit, Peloton, Grindr, Ring, bet365, Google, NordVPN, JustEat and Ladbrokes.

Cloudflare acknowledged the issue in an update on its official Twitter account.

“The Cloudflare team is aware of the current service issues and is working to resolve them as soon as possible,” the team said.

The company implemented a fix at 08:20 BST and posted an update to the service status page at 09:06 BST claiming to have resolved the issue.

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