The world was gearing up for the start of the Olympics last week, however, the buzz was dampened  as two large companies, Twitter and Google, experienced outages, leaving many without ways to communicate with acquaintances around the world.

Twitter is now reporting that the cause of its two hour outage was a simultaneous failure in its main data center, including the one that’s supposed to provide back-up.

Google has not come forth with a statement about the official cause of its outage, however, the company has said online services, including Gmail and Google Groups, did not appear to have been affected. While the outage only affected Google Talk (i.e GChat), the majority of Google users were affected by this outage.

We’ve rounded up a few articles covering these outages. If you were affected by either or both, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section.

From BBC News: ‘Cascading Bug’ Took Twitter Down

Parts of Twitter became inaccessible a day before thousands of fans are expected to start tweeting about the Olympic Games. The Twitter.com site was unreachable for almost an hour, and continued to suffer intermittent faults thereafter. In a status message posted after the fault was cleared, the micro-blogging service apologised for the problems. It said it was caused by a simultaneous failure in its main data centre and the one supposed to provide back-up. Twitter said it was investing heavily in its data centres to avoid such falling victim to another “infrastructural double-whammy”. During the interruption, Twitter was still accessible via its mobile site and other applications.

From The New York Times: Twitter Goes Down for the Count — Again
Updated Noting that the site came back online. Another day, another Twitter failure. A few short weeks after a software bug knocked Twitter offline, the service was unavailable to the majority, if not all, of its 140 million users for several hours on Thursday. An update on Twitter’s status blog addressed the problem, saying, “Users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter.” The post said Twitter engineers were working to resolve the issue. The status blog itself seemed to have trouble coping with demand for a bit. Twitter started working again about 1 p.m.
From PC Mag: Google Talk Outage Hits ‘Majority’ of Users

Google Talk was unavailable this morning for “a majority of users,” the search giant confirmed. According to Google’s apps dashboard, Google Talk started to come back online for some users shortly before 11 a.m. Eastern, and was fully restored by 11:25 a.m. Users attempting to use Google Talk this morning could access the service, but were “seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior,” Google said at 6:50 a.m. Eastern.

From Network World: Google Talk Users Lash Out Over Major Network Outage

Google Talk, a desktop and mobile text and voice chat service used by many Google Gmail customers, has suffered a widespread outage Thursday morning 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.”