Tweetheads Rejoice: Google Doesn't Own You

Let Google's latest service disruption serve as another example of what the tech giant could do if it owned Twitter.

The world briefly came to a halt for Internet addicts across the globe Thursday morning when Google's services went down. What did they do to let out their rage? Turn to Twitter of course.

An unknown number of people were cut off from Google search engine, e-mail and other online services, sparking a flurry of frustrated venting that served as a reminder of society's growing dependence on Google's technology.

Without providing specifics, Google said technical problems had prevented a "small subset of users" from getting into their e-mail accounts. The e-mail issues also had a ripple effect on other services, including Google's search engine, according to the Mountain View-based company.

Before the repair, many people locked out from Google went elsewhere on the Internet to express their dismay and despair.

Multiple messages posted on Twitter, a popular information-sharing forum, indicated that people all over the world had trouble with the Google search engine and e-mail. But other Twitter users said their Google services have been running smoothly. But if Google owned Twitter, they could have just taken that down as well, and thus muzzled everyone. It's not like they could go on Facebook and vent. Although Twitter users are used to "occasiona" service disruptions.
The intermittent trouble lasted for hours before the issues were fixed by early afternoon EDT

Because Google is used by hundreds of millions of people, even a breakdown affecting a small percentage of its audience can have a major impact. Google's search engine, by far the most popular on the Internet, fields more than 9 billion monthly search requests in the United States alone.

As part of its effort to retain its current users and expand its market share so it can sell more Internet ads, Google has invested billions of dollars to create a vast network of computers to lessen the chances of breakdowns.

Although its search engine is renowned for its reliability, Google isn't fail-safe. Its 5-year-old e-mail service, in particular, has been susceptible to periodic outages.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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