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What Happened to G-Chat and Twitter Yesterday?


"And you know what's the worst thing about Twitter being down? You can't tweet about Twitter being down."

The Web's favorite microblogging site and instant messaging service are completely back to normal today after suffering disruptions on Thursday.

Early in the morning, G-Chat (Google Talk) users found they couldn't instant message each other and took to Twitter to issue complaints. Later in the day, Twitter began experiencing a service disruption as well with some speculating it was crashing from pre-Olympics traffic. When Twitter was unavailable, people began posting their thoughts on Facebook.

(Related: Twitter Down: Are G-Chatters Now Crashing Twitter?)

Gizmodo's Casey Chan shared his thoughts on these outages:

And you know what's the worst thing about Twitter being down? You can't tweet about Twitter being down. Your quick-witted soapbox is gone. Where are you going to make your quips now? Facebook? Hah. Dislike. When the two best quickfire forms of communication—Gchat and Twitter—down and out, you have no one but yourself. It's just you, lonely you.

Google was fixed before noon Eastern Standard Time and Twitter later in the afternoon. Here's what some Twitter users had to say about the outages once the site was up and running again:

Twitter said the outage was caused by a "noteworthy" double failure in its data centers. When one system fails, a parallel one is meant to take over, but two systems coincidentally stopped working at around the same time, Twitter said.

"I wish I could say that today's outage could be explained by the Olympics or even a cascading bug," Mazen Rawashdeh, VP of engineering, said in a statement apologizing to users. "Instead, it was due to this infrastructural double-whammy."

He apologized for giving its users "zilch" instead of the service, saying the company is "investing aggressively" in its systems to avoid a repeat situation.

Google, on the other hand, hasn't offered any real explanation as to what happened to its IM service, only updating users throughout the morning that it was working on the situation. Within five hours of the disruption being reported, it was fixed.

The company said, "Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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