Skype suffers worst outage in its history: Problem first discovered in UK, soon spread globally affecting millions of users worldwide: “Skype for Business” was unaffected.

“#Skypefall” trends on Twitter within 2 hours

What happens when the world’s preeminent video call service breaks down? Everyone logs into Twitter and complains from there, apparently.

For some users it was like the world had ended. What initially appeared as a localised problem to the UK soon transpired to affect users in almost every country. Just a few short hours after the issue became general knowledge, the hashtag “Skypefall,” had begun trending on Twitter

Skype Fall, premiering yesterday on Twitter. Image taken @Kilsliy

Skype Fall, premiering yesterday on Twitter. Image taken from @Kiisliy

Skype confirmed the outage problem on its support page, and also through its own Twitter feed. The problem seemed to stem from an issue with call and status updates. Microsoft reported that everyones contacts would appear offline, but that instant messages would still get through. However, many users complained that their Skype service was completely unusable.

15 Hours. UK, Europe, and Japan Worst Affected

The problem persisted for 15 hours before Microsoft released a brief statement on the Heartbeat website saying: “We have identified the network issue which prevented users from logging in and using Skype today. We’re in the process of reconnecting our users, and focused on restoring full service.”

Down Detector, a company that monitors and reports on the state of several different services noted that the problem was mostly an issue for users in Europe and Japan. Despite Microsoft’s assurances that Skype had been fully restored, some users were still saying that their Skype service was virtually unusable nearly a day after the issue was “fixed.”

Skype: A Service We Can’t Live Without?

For many people, Skype is an everyday necessity for work and staying in touch. Yesterday’s outage also led to some philosophical Twitter users to wonder whether users should have a backup video chat service in place for events like this, such as Google Hangouts, or Apple’s Face Time.

What the Skype outage has proven however, is that it is another example of just how reliant most of us have become on services such as Skype. We just expect them to work without fail. And when they do go down, it only serves to remind us just how vulnerable we are to the vagaries of technology in a 21st Century world.