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Man Down! Gmail Meltdown 2014: How Did Competitors Respond?

by Anna Hasselbring on January 25, 2014

On Friday, January 24, 2014 the world stood still when the unimaginable occurred…

Gmail and Google+ went down.


Instant response:


Thankfully, Google figured out the kinks and Gmail seems to be back up and running smoothly.

This might seem like a dramatic response, but this technical difficulty was a serious reality check as to how many of our lives (especially those of us in the marketing biz) rely on this email service not only on a day to day, but an hour to hour basis.

It also had us thinking: what would we do without Gmail? Would we have to revert back to the days of Yahoo? Hotmail? Or dare I say it, AOL?

…that being said I am pretty sure if I looked back to my old AOL email (USACUTIE101@aol.com) I would be welcomed with a slew of spam and MySpace alerts from 8 years ago.

Although the Sprk’d team was a bit baffled and lost without our good friend G, being the content gurus we are we were also curious as to how to Gmail’s competitors were taking advantage of this opportunity to generate new users and/or gain social media attention for their email services.

So we checked out their Twitter accounts…and the results were underwhelming to say the least:


Yahoo! had us very confused. Instead of promoting their own email service Yahoo! updated its followers on the status of the Gmail debacle.


What? We understand Yahoo! is also a news and information source, but c’mon! They are the only other email service that can even hold a candle to Gmail now-a-days, this was the perfect time for them to boost their reputation and make waves.


Hotmail has been in the game for awhile and apparently they haven’t shown any desire to keep up with today’s social media centered world. Hotmail’s Twitter account hasn’t been touched in over a week and the only tweets that come out of it are all customer service related. So we weren’t surprised to find out that they didn’t have anything to say about the Gmail meltdown.




To tell you the truth, we were actually shocked that AOL even had a Twitter account to begin with, but surprising enough good ol’ AOL is the only other competitor who actually utilized this opportunity to try to encourage people to sign up for an email account with them.


Kudos America Online, kudos.

All in all, we are happy that our beloved pal Gmail is back up and running. Because as insane it might make us with the constant emails, we missed it while it was gone.

We also have to say that we were pretty disappointed with the competitor’s social media responses to the infamous Gmail Meltdown of 2014. Let this be a lesson to be learned for the Yahoo!, Hotmail and AOL marketing teams: when the big man Google is down, you got to jump at the opportunity! Maybe next time they could call us up here at Sprk’d to help them generate some witty content that will make waves… just saying ;)

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