Reddit’s search functionality appears to be broken as of Monday morning. Complaints and inquiries about the issue have steadily increased since the early hours of the day.
Reddit’s tag line is “the front page of the internet” and it has earned that title. It’s a great way to catch up on news about anything. Its subreddit system of categorized conversations makes it easy to follow a story than, say, a Twitter trend would. It’s an easy way to get a feed specific to a single topic and keep track of popular stories therein.
Right now, that “front page of the internet” thing is more accurate than usual because Reddit’s search function appears to be broken. When visiting the site on a desktop or opening the app right now, its front page loads and subreddits will show up as is usually the case. However, searching for anything produces an error. On a desktop, the site shows a background with no content for a few seconds before producing a message that reads “Sorry, we couldn’t load search results.” On the app version, users are greeted with a sad face and the text “Try Again”. The website, Downdetector, which allows users to post that a service is malfunctioning, shows hundreds of reports over the past few hours as people start attempting to perform Reddit searches. Reddit has yet to address the issue on any of its social media accounts as of this writing.
Search engine issues aren’t a rare occurrence, and for a platform like Reddit, this isn’t a crippling issue. With so much of the site still functional, including the ability to view content on subreddits to which one is already subscribed, many users won’t even notice there’s a problem. At the same time, Monday mornings are great “catch-up” opportunities for people who missed stories over the weekend, so it’s likely this outage will lead to more complaints in the coming hours if the issue persists.
Given the size of the platform and how reliable it is generally, expect the problem to be resolved quickly. When comparable services like Instagram have these kinds of trouble, they usually see a resolution within a few hours.
UPDATE: The search functions seem to be functioning as of approximately 10 AM ET. All told, the issue seems to have lasted for about 7 hours, peaking roughly an hour before services were restored. User reports of issues are still rolling in by the hundreds, though, so perhaps the fix is rolling out in phases. There’s still no mention or explanation of the issue from Reddit’s official social media accounts, however.