Update 5:05 EDT: After being down for more than two hours Friday, Amazon.com went back online for less than an hour before it went down again. For now, the site seems to be back up and running. Amazon's stock (AMZN) has dropped 4.59 percent at $80.63.
Amazon's media relations spokesman has sent me the following statement about the situation that began at around 10:25 a.m. Pacific time, reporting that the retailer's web services were not affected:
The Amazon retail site was down for approximately 2 hours earlier today (beginning around 10:25) – and we’re bringing the site back up.
Amazon’s systems are very complex and on rare occasions, despite our best efforts, they may experience problems. We work to minimize any disruption and to get the site back as quickly as possible.
Amazon’s web services were not affected nor were our international sites.
Director, Strategic Communications
Below is the original blog post at 1:40 p.m. EDT, along with updates made throughout the afternoon:
Kind of scary when Amazon goes down. The only thing worse would be if Google went down... then you know the end of the world is near.
UPDATE: It's 2 p.m. and the site is still down. It's been down for about a half hour. This can't be good. I'm still waiting a call back from their media relations team to find out what is going on...
UPDATE [2:35 EDT]: Amazon is still down. There was a moment where I thought it was back up because a homepage loaded, but none of the links worked. When I refreshed the page, it went back to showing the Service Unavailable message.
UPDATE [3:10 EDT]: It's not fixed, but now Amazon has put up a more professional-looking error page. The site had been down for more than an hour and a half before they changed the error page from "Http/1.1 System Unavailable" to "We're sorry!"
UPDATE [3:22 EDT]: Looks like they are getting back online. The site seems to be fully working now. No word back from Amazon's media relations team as to what caused this massive glitch.
UPDATE [4:15 EDT]: It's back down! The homepage went back to the "We're sorry!" message. This is terrible for Amazon. Just imagine how much money they are losing while down, not to mention the future loss of sales if customers lose trust in the retailer. Even if the site goes back up later today, will customers feel comfortable enough with the site to buy anything today?
UPDATE [4:25 EDT]: Well, now the links are working again. Guess it means Amazon is back up... for now?
UPDATE [5:05 EDT]: To test the site, I just successfully purchased and downloaded an mp3 from Amazon without one glitch or hiccup.