Google Talk users lash out over major outage

Google Talk, a desktop and mobile text and voice chat service used by many Google Gmail customers, suffered a widespread outage earlier today that the company says is affecting "a majority of users."

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Google Talk, a desktop and mobile text and voice chat service used by many Google Gmail customers, suffered a widespread outage earlier today that the company says is affecting "a majority of users."

While Google doesn't say how many people use Google Talk, also called Gchat, it's clear that many do based on comments flooding Twitter.

@Betchesluvthis tweeted: "Gchat outage. I haven't felt this out of touch since the great BBM blackout of 2010."

@bomani_jones lamented: "hey, this gchat outage is making it REAL difficult to talk to people i'd prefer not have my phone number."

And @SelenaMay wrote: "If you think a Gchat outage is going to increase my work productivity then you are wrong."

Others switched over to other services. @irrexu wrote: "The day when you needed gtalk the most to chat with team, it was down. thankfully, skype served as backup, else it would've been twitter ;)"

As for Google, it says on its App Status Dashboard that it began investigating reports of an issue with Google Talk at 11:40 BST: "We're aware of a problem with Google Talk affecting a majority of users. The affected users are able to access Google Talk, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior."

At 12:50 BST, 13:50 BST. and 14:50 BST, Google support provided updates, that it was continuing to investigate the issue, and at 15:50 BST, Google reported that "Google Talk service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future."

An update at 16:25 BST confirmed a fix had been made: "The problem with Google Talk should be resolved," the company said.

Cloud-based services have had a rough time of late, with several high-profile outages. Among them, Amazon Web Services going down in June and Salesforce.com suffering outages in June and July. Google's Gmail suffered an outage last month as well, affecting as many as 4.8 million users. 

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