Google Talk users the world over were inconvenienced yesterday when the popular chat service faced a major outage. Although the reason for the outage hasn't been ascertained yet, the service was restored yesterday after being down for nearly 5 hours. Google on its part kept updating users about the steps it was taking to resolve the situation. In a series of updates, starting from 4:10 PM to 8:55 PM, Google informed users that they were investigating the issue. In their last message Google stated, “The problem with Google Talk should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better. If you are still experiencing an issue, please contact us via the Google Help Center.”

The service began crawling back to normalcy, a little before Google's final update to the situation went up. We noticed that instant messages on GTalk seemed to go back and forth, albeit very slowly. In fact, even though the chats were being delivered to the contact, the sender kept receiving messages saying that the contact did not receive the chat.    

Google updated users throughout the outage

Google updated users throughout the outage

The outage first came to light when users discovered that they were unable to send messages across to their contacts, whom they could see online. Users complained of receiving messages that their chats haven't been delivered, every time they tried sending them. Tweets, that soon followed confirmed then that the issue was a worldwide one. Twitter was abuzz  with messages, like – “#Gchat is down, #Twitter confirms it.”, “Grr argh #gchat is broken,” “So it seems #gchat is down across the world. Numerous tweets on it. Are you facing this problem?.”

Google's GTalk service is the most popular Instant Messaging (IM) services available, and it is widely used the world over. The service can also be accessed via Gmail, one of the most popular e-mail services around today.

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