This morning Google Hangouts is on the fritz. Users across the United States are reporting outages as well as down-time entirely as the service is experiencing difficulty in both sending and receiving messages. This downtime appears to be at a server level as both desktop (web browser) and mobile versions of the ecosystem are experiencing difficulties.
This downtime appears to be large enough for Google to post a note about it, believe it or not, though this message is relatively short and sweet. Located in Google’s Apps service board, you’ll find Google leaving the following message for users.
"We're investigating reports of an issue with Google+ Hangouts. We will provide more information shortly." - Google
That message was posted to Google+ Hangouts’ board at 11:22 Central Time on 3/17/2014 - the day when this article is posted. This service outage is also affecting Google Talk - which makes a lot of sense since the two services are essentially one in the same at this point in time. At this time this problem is classified as a "Service disruption" rather than a full-blown "Service outage".
UPDATE: This problem now appears to be affecting users worldwide. This includes reports from Dubai, across India, Slovakia, Santiago Chile, Lima Peru, Rome, and throughout the United States. Reports began to flow at around half-after 11AM Central Time and continue through the time of this article’s posting. DownDetector reports problems since 12AM EDT.
We will continue to report updates to the situation as they appear. For now it would seem that Google’s work on the platform is bringing some service areas back online, but the problem persists in a larger way.
UPDATE 2: Google says the problem impacting Hangouts, Google Talk, and Google Sheets should now be resolved for all users.