There might be some bad blood between Taylor Swift and Google going forward after the pop star’s fans inadvertently caused the search engine to crash.
Swifties know all too well about the singer’s use of puzzles and scavenger hunts as a means of gaining unreleased content or hidden easter eggs. Most recently, Swift partnered with tech giant Google to give fans a chance to unlock “Taylor’s Version” of unreleased vault tracks for her re-recordings of the albums Fearless and Red back in 2021.
Fans were asked through Swift’s Instagram account to solve a crossword and a word scramble on Google to gain access to the tracks, but as her cult-like following of fans began the challenge, Google’s search engine was quickly overloaded and inevitably broke.
Swifties, we made it out of the woods!
— Google (@Google) September 20, 2023
Google was quick to post to ‘X’ (formally Twitter) with its cheesiest T-Swift puns, saying “Swifties, the vault is jammed! But don’t worry, there are no blank spaces inside, we’re in our fix-it era and will be out of the woods soon.”
Way to shake it off, Google.
Some would look at the Google crash and mark the collaboration as an absolute failure, but in reality, it was anything but. Last week, users who entered the term “Taylor Swift” were met with a pale blue vault, the same colour associated with Swift’s 1989 album. Shortly after, the same search produced tiles of letters along with a hint to a word or phrase relevant to 1989.
Users who could unscramble the letters and enter the phrase into the search bar would gain access to 89 additional puzzles. According to a progress bar attached to the vault pop-up, the vault tracks would only be revealed after fans collectively completed 33 million puzzles.
How long could that take? Days? Weeks? Months? Years?
The Swifties finished in under one day, forcing Swift to release four vault track titles with an audio message on Google. The tracks are titled Is It Over Now?, Now That We Don’t Talk, Say Don’t Go, and Suburban Legends.
In August, Taylor Swift announced that she will perform six shows in Toronto next year as part of her Eras Tour. A film version of the tour will also play in theatres in October.
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