Day of Outages: Google Talk and Twitter Go Down

Google’s Instant Messaging and chat service Google Talk suffered a major outage earlier today when it went down for over five hours. Users were unable to send or receive messages during this period – even though they were able to login and see their contacts online. Sending messages was possible, but it usually threw an error message saying that the recipient didn’t receive it.

The Twitter Homepage during the outage

This status continued for over five hours during which Google updated its App Status dashboard confirming that the service is down. Google initially termed it a service disruption which was later “upgraded” to a service outage while adding that the problem had affected a majority of its users worldwide.The dashboard had a message on it that read thus: “The affected users are able to access Google Talk, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior.”

Almost five hours after the service went down; Gtalk was soon back to normal. Google is yet to reveal what actually caused this outage.

Later in the day, it was the turn of micro blogging service Twitter to face a similar outage. For a period of over an hour, the service remained inaccessible for users across the globe and resulted in people heading to Facebook and Google Plus to rant about it. We wonder if someone opened their long forgotten Orkut accounts during this time!On the Twitter status blog – the usual place where people go to check when the service goes down, the Twitter team wrote; “Users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter. Our engineers are currently working to resolve the issue down.”

Twitter is back to normal as I type this – although the status blog is yet to be updated with this information.

Pertinent to note about these two outages is the fact that both happened one day before the 2012 Summer Olympics kicks off in London. It is unclear if this outage was a part of some server upgradation plans by Twitter – which it might be doing in order to withstand the heavy traffic expected once the games kick start.

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