SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix went down Saturday afternoon for about two and a half hours, unleashing a flood of Tweets and posts as fans found themselves unable to get to their favorite shows.

The interruption appeared to have begun around noon. The site came back online about 2:30 PM.The cause of the outage was not immediately known.

The company tweeted at 12:25 PM that it was "aware of streaming issues and we are working quickly to solve them. We will update you when they are solved."

During the outage the streaming service continued to work on smart phones and tablets.

Based on the languages the Tweets anguishing over the Netflix blackout were written in, it appeared the service was down across much of the globe, including South America, France, Italy, Portugal and Germany.

Some users got an empty, blank page when they entered into their browser.

Others were able to get to the main Netflix entry page, but when they attempted to click on a show to watch, the message "Whoops, something went wrong..." came up, followed by "There was an unexpected error. Please reload the page and try again."

Netflix is the nation's largest streaming video provider, accounting for 53% of all subscriptions, followed by Amazon (25%), Hulu (13%) and HBO (1%), according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

The company's automated email service continued to function, sending out updates for movies newly available for streaming even as the movies themselves were unobtainable.

Netflix is extremely popular among those who stream media. It's penetration among all U.S. monthly streaming video users is at about 68%, according to research firm eMarketer.

Netflix had 126.9 million users in 2016, eMarketer estimates.

The service previously had a long term outage on Christmas Eve 2012, when a problem with Amazon Web Services knocked many users off for about ten hours.