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UPDATE: Google confirms Google Talk outage

Google has confirmed that Google Talk has crashed for “a majority of users“ across the globe. The wildly popular instant messaging client - and preferred procrastination tool of many - appears to be suffering from a complete outage, with some users complaining of being unable to access their contacts, while others can see who’s online but are unable to send messages.

The outage applies to GTalk in-browser, as well as third-party apps. Not all users appear to be affected, however; at last check, some people were able to successfully use the service, albeit with some delay.

On its App Status Dashboard, Google displayed a “service outage” notice and first acknowledged the disruption at 11:40 GMT. Ten minutes later, the disruption had been upgraded to an outrage.

“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,” Google wrote.

The company has since said it is continuing to investigate the issue, and is offering hourly updates.

Unsurprisingly, unhappy users have taken to Twitter to opine, mostly in jest, about the outage.

“Google is holding Google Talk hostage until everyone stops calling it ‘Gchat’,” joked Dan McQuade.

“When Twitter goes down, people go to FB or Tumblr. What happens when Gchat is down? AIM? Text? What is this prison!?,” asked Jake Koeneman.

On a more serious note, Sinar Kamal Shebl points out that “you don't realize how dependent you're on those services till u lose on [sic] of them.”

Google has yet to provide specific details about the cause of the outage or to say when it’s expecting the service to be back on, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest news on what will surely be looked back on as the Great GTalk Outage of 2012.

UPDATE: Google Talk service has been restored, according to an App Status Dashboard update at 16:25 GMT.

"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," the company wrote.

Customers still experiencing issues should contact support through the Help Center, Google has said.