NEW YORK - Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest are using Twitter and Facebook to update subscribers after violent storms across the eastern U.S. caused server outages for hours.
Netflix and Pinterest restored service by Saturday afternoon.
Instagram used its Facebook fan page to communicate with users of its photo-sharing service. It posted a message on Saturday morning that blamed the electrical storm for the outage and explained that its engineers were working to restore service.
Still, many Instagram's users were searching for answers. "Instagram" was the top search term on Google on Saturday, according to Google Trends.
Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram are customers of Amazon Inc.'s web services division. The unit provides web services and data storage facilities that are commonly used for "cloud computing".
Amazon spokeswoman Kay Kinton told The Associated Press in an email that the storm cut power to some of company's operations. Service has been restored for most customers, Kinton said.
Netflix, a video streaming service, said on Twitter that subscribers should reconnect if they still experienced problems.
The online scrapbook service Pinterest says employees are working to fix remaining issues that may affect performance.
The Friday evening storms are responsible for 13 deaths and knocked out power for millions of people.
Power officials said the outages wouldn't be repaired for several days to a week, likening the damage to a serious hurricane. Emergencies were declared in Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell said the state had its largest non-hurricane outage in history, as more storms threatened. "This is a very dangerous situation," the governor said.
In some Virginia suburbs of Washington, emergency 911 call centers were out of service; residents were told to call local police and fire departments. Huge trees fell across streets in Washington, leaving cars crunched up next to them, and onto the fairway at the AT&T National golf tournament in Maryland. Cell phone and Internet service was spotty, gas stations shut down and residents were urged to conserve water until sewage plants returned to power.
The outages were especially dangerous because they left the region without air conditioning in an oppressive heat. Temperatures soared to 94 by mid-afternoon and were to hit 100 in Baltimore and Washington, where it had hit 104 on Friday.