Slack Goes Down, Leaves Users Scrambling on the First Workday of 2021


Slack suffered a  massive global outage on the first workday of the year. The downtime triggered the popular #SlackDown hashtag on Twitter alongside memes as users were unable to access their workspace for more than three hours.

It wasn’t business as usual for Slack on Monday, which suffered a massive global outage on the first working day of the year. The enterprise team messaging platform, now owned by CRM giant Salesforce, went down for the third time in six months on Monday, leaving users struggling to access messaging, calls, and connections.

This status message didn’t age well. #SlackOutageOpens a new window a new window

— Sam Corder (@SamCorder) January 4, 2021Opens a new window

According to DowndetectorOpens a new window , which tracks real-time outage information, users initially started reporting just a few minutes before 10 AM EST. Slack quickly acknowledged the issue with its services and updated its status pageOpens a new window with the following: “Customers may have trouble loading channels or connecting to Slack at this time. Our team is investigating and we’ll follow up with more information as soon as we have it. We apologize for any disruption caused.”

Though Slack hoped to quickly resolve the incident, the company termed it as an outage just over an hour later. “We’re continuing to investigate connection issues for customers, and have upgraded the incident on our side to reflect an outage in service,” Slack said.

Japan, Australia and North America Hit Hardest

Although the outage was reported globally, there are no exact numbers on how many users out of the 10 million current user base were affected. Speedtest by Ookla reportedOpens a new window that users from the following areas were hit the hardest — Asia (Japan), Australia, Europe (Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), North America (United States and Canada) and South America (Brazil).

Data from Downdetector indicates that the outage peaked at 10:26 AM EST with nearly 15,000 reports, and the application started functioning normally for some users from 12:29 PM EST.

Slack Outage | Source: Downdetector Time in IST

See Also: Major Network Outages in 2020: What Could Have Prevented Them?

Amid the crisis, the Silicon Valley darling has become an integral part of remote work for millions worldwide. So it wasn’t a surprise when Brian HechtOpens a new window , Venture Partner at ERA Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator compared Slack outages to tech’s version of a snowy day. He quipped:

Slack down is the tech economy’s version of a snow day.

— Brian Hecht (@brianhecht) January 4, 2021Opens a new window

After a crippling three-hour outage, the communications app was up and running around 12:30 PM EST.

Slack’s ubiquity in enterprises is well-known — dubbed as a rising star in asynchronous communication, SaaS behemoth Salesforce bought it for $27.7 billion to beef up its cloud collaboration strategy.

However, Slack needs to get one thing clear: outages cause a tech company to bleed users, either temporarily or permanently. The publicly-traded company is already facing stiff competition from Microsoft Teams. And more up-and-comers such as Workfront, Mindville, and even RingCentral Glip are nibbling at the heels to dent its lead.

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