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Slack continued to recover Monday after starting 2021 with global outage

For many, the post holiday return to work was met with frustration as the team chat app Slack said many customers had trouble connecting.
Credit: AP
The Slack app icon is displayed on an iPhone screen, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Long Beach, Calif.

WASHINGTON — Slack, the team messaging service used by millions of people globally, confirmed early Monday that it had suffered a major outage impacting customers around the world. The news came as most returned for their first day back to work in 2021, after the New Year's holiday.

The company announced that some users were having issues loading channels or connecting to the program all together, but the company was steadily recovering from the outage later Monday.

Just before 12:30 p.m. Eastern, Slack said that the outage was still an issue, but  "some customers may see improvement in connecting to Slack after a refresh (CTRL/CMD + R)."

In a statement, the company said, "Our team is investigating and we will follow up with more information as soon as we have it. We apologize for any disruption caused."

About an hour later, Slack said it had upgraded the incident on its side to "reflect an outage in service." 

"All hands are on deck on our end to further investigate," the company posted on its status page at 11:20 a.m. Eastern. There were no immediate details released about what may have caused the outage as of Monday afternoon.  

Downdetector, which monitors the performance of websites and web-connected tools and machines,  reported around 10:20 a.m. ET there were over 11,000 reports of outages on the program globally, but primarily in Boston, New York City and Chicago.

It's the latest tech disruption which shows how disruptive technical issues can be when millions of users are depending on just a few big services to work and go to school remotely during the pandemic.

Internet service outages are not uncommon, and are usually resolved relatively swiftly and are only rarely the result of hacking or other intentional mischief. Google services went down briefly in December, with people in several countries briefly unable to access their Gmail accounts, watch YouTube videos or get to their online documents during an outage on a Monday. In August, Zoom went down briefly just as students were beginning the school year at home. And in September, Microsoft services had an outage that lasted for five hours.

RELATED: Google services like YouTube, Gmail experience brief outage Monday

The outage comes as Slack is in the process of being acquired by Salesforce.com for $27.7 billion. The deal is aimed at giving the two companies a better shot at competing against longtime industry powerhouse Microsoft.

The company stopped releasing its daily user count after topping 12 million last year.

The timing of the outage, on the first Monday of 2021, also naturally led to a lot of reactions on social media.

"Slack is down, vacation is still on, everyone go back to bed," tweeted Matt Bodega. 

"Slack really said 'nah, taking an extra day let’s keep this vacay going,'" MSNBC writer Hayes Brown tweeted.

"Slack said no work in 2021!," New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz tweeted

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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