Taylor Swift fans were in trouble Tuesday as the pop sensation sent them on a virtual Easter egg hunt to reveal her new song titles “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” — only to be met with technical difficulties.
Swift announced her upcoming re-recording of “1989” last month while performing in Los Angeles, and that “Taylor’s Version” will include previously unreleased songs. Songs from Vault were included in his three previous re-recorded releases as an added benefit to fans who stream and purchase the albums.
Swift previously revealed vault tracks for “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” by releasing a video of scrambled letters.
Google announced Tuesday that its search function will populate a series of 89 puzzles that fans can solve to eventually reveal the names of these new songs.
“You’ll help Swifties around the world get out of the woods (or unlock the safe) as everyone collectively solves 33 million puzzles,” Google said. “And that’s how it works, that’s how you get the track titles from the vault!”
Some international fans first noticed a small blue vault populated Saturday by searching for “Taylor Swift,” building anticipation as Swifties waited for the reveal of what the vault meant.
The puzzle began with the vault revealing a scrambled version of the name of Swift’s upcoming album and would reveal further riddles as participants entered their answers into the search bar.
But many fans (including this NBC News reporter) believe there was a glitch as they searched for the answers with no further progress.
Some fans were frustrated at not being able to participate or were upset by the large number of puzzle solving required when the game was not working properly.
“I feel like Taylor constantly forgets how tall she is,” one user posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “33 million is a lot considering the fact that the vault doesn’t work. Google needs to figure out who is playing the game and who is actually trying to search for sunglasses, which I think is Which ruins everything.”
Another joked: “We definitely won’t have 33 million before the album comes out with this stupid safe not working.”
Google addressed the errors in a late post Tuesday.
“Swifties, the safe is blocked! But don’t worry, there’s no empty space inside,” the company wrote. “We are in our era of repair and we will soon be out of the woods.”
A representative for Swift did not immediately respond to request for comment Tuesday.
Swift posted a clip of opening a blue safe to her Instagram on Tuesday afternoon, captioning the video with “You can tell me when the *search* is over…if the effect was worth it penalty.”
Searches for “Taylor Swift” spiked after the post and remained high for a few hours, according to Google Trends data. Swift reached its highest search interest on Google on Tuesday at 3 p.m., two hours after its publication, before declining slightly.
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is set to be released on October 27, exactly nine years after the original’s release.