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Quibi experienced an outage on launch day

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The outage might steer people away from the new service

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Mobile video app Quibi, which just launched today, experienced a one-hour outage this afternoon, the company confirmed. Quibi first announced on Twitter that there were problems at 2:07PM ET and said it was fixed at 3:07PM ET.

While the outage was going on, one Verge staffer saw the below error screen. I saw this same error screen and couldn’t browse anything in the app, but while writing this story, videos started working again. Another staffer was unable to make a Quibi account.

In a prelaunch interview, Quibi told The Verge that it had load-tested the app to help the team prepare for potential outages. And although the service was designed for on-the-go viewing, Quibi anticipated more people might be binge-watching the app instead of in short bursts now that more people are staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quibi CEO Meg Whitman also has experience dealing with outages — on her first day as CEO of eBay, the site crashed for eight hours.

(Disclosure: Vox Media, which owns The Verge, has a deal with Quibi to produce a Polygon Daily Essential, and there have been talks about a Verge show.)

Quibi has raised nearly $2 billion from investors to produce Hollywood-quality mobile shows in “quick bites” that last 10 minutes or less. The app’s unique approach to mobile video is already a bit of a hard sell, though, and an outage on its first day could steer potential new users away from the service.

Quibi isn’t the first app or service to crash on launch day — Disney Plus, which launched in November of last year, had a series of outages when it launched. And many internet services have experienced outages in recent weeks due to the increased strain on their networks because of people at home due to the pandemic.