Jan. 24, 2014 at 8:42 PM ET
Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET:
Goggle says the problems have been fixed and that the outage lasted no more than 30 minutes for most users.
"Whether the effect was brief or lasted the better part of an hour, please accept our apologies — we strive to make all of Google’s services available and fast for you, all the time, and we missed the mark today," Google said.
In a blog post, the company blamed the outage on a software bug that led to an "incorrect configuration" telling other systems how to behave.
For many users, Google's free email service, Gmail, went down for nearly an hour Friday afternoon. Reports of an outage came from across the United States, as well as from Europe and Canada. Google+, Drive, Hangouts and YouTube were also experience connection issues.
Initially, the Apps Status Dashboard, which provides the status of various Google services, had a green light next to Gmail indicating that it was functional. Later, Google confirmed an outage, writing, "We're investigating reports of an issue with Gmail. We will provide more information shortly." As of 2:52 ET, both Gmail and Google+ were back online for most.
While several people on Twitter claimed that they had access to Gmail during the outage, the social network was flooded with tweets about how the service was down.
As TechCrunch pointed out, the Google Site Reliability Engineering team was taking part in an AMA on Reddit at the time of the outage. Participants with questions about correlation and causation were directed to Google's App Status Dashboard. At 3:23 p.m., Google noted via the Dashboard:
The problem with Gmail should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.
Check back for updates on this story.