During YouTube's Downtime, Pornhub Saw a 21% Increase in Traffic

By Kim Snaith on at

Early Wednesday morning, YouTube went offline for just over an hour. Around 2.30 a.m. UK time – about 9.30pm EST – the behemoth video service went down, not coming back online until 3.45 am (10.45 EST). In that time, people could have watched Netflix. Or regular TV. Or god forbid, read a book or have a conversation. Apparently not. No, people decided to fap instead.

At 3am (10pm EST), PornHub's traffic saw a major spike in traffic, increasing by 21 per cent compared to that time on a normal day. And during that time, certain search terms saw a major peak in interest too. Most notably, searches "asmr" – autonomous sensory meridian response, a phenomenon that's taken YouTube by storm where certain sounds and talking in whispers makes people feel tingly – went up by 201 per cent. Other YouTube-centric search terms also saw a rise in popularity, including "Fortnite", "Overwatch", "WWE" and "Bowsette". And, strangely, searches on PornHub for "YouTube" also rose by 183 per cent. Just in case the porn site holds a secret cache of everything on YouTube, I guess.

Image: Pornhub

Interestingly, by the time YouTube had come back online, there was a drop in PornHub traffic by around 4%. Presumably, all that extra porn-watching had tired out its normal viewership, or people were just so happy to see YouTube back they went to watch some idiots scale buildings or something instead. Thankfully, by 2am EST everything was back to normal and everyone was consuming just the right amount of porn once again. Hooray.