Skype Talks About Just How Full That Half a Glass Is (Updated: Glass Now 90 Percent Full)

Published on December 23, 2010
by Ina Fried

While some people are still having trouble using Skype and a few features remain unavailable, the Internet telephony company issued a statement on Thursday touting those services that have returned to operation after a massive outage on Wednesday.

“In the last hour, we’ve seen evidence of a significant increase in the number of people online,” Skype said in a blog posting. “Because of the way the Skype software works, it’s not possible for anyone to obtain an exact figure, but we now estimate it to be over 10 million.”

However, according to a graphic elsewhere on the company’s Web site (see above), that’s still short of the service at peak times (and one would assume that, absent an outage, two days before Christmas might be one of those peak sorts of times).

The blog goes on to mention a few of the other lingering issues. “Please note that some features may not work as reliably as expected,” it said, adding that “peoples’ online status may be slow to update, and instant messages might not be delivered as quickly as they are normally. Group video calling will take longer to return to normal.”

Of course, all that is a lot better than yesterday, when the bulk of the service was down for millions of people.

UPDATE, 11:50 am: Things are looking up, according to the latest post from CEO Tony Bates. He reports that there are now about 16.5 million users online, about 80 percent of normal for this time of day. And a make-good offering is in the works. “I realise that it’s difficult to compensate you for not being able to talk to or see your friends, family or colleagues, but we’re planning to offer Skype Credit vouchers to all of our loyal paying customers to thank you for your continued support,” said Bates.

Here’s the video of his message:

UPDATE, 3:02 pm: Another dispatch from Bates, this time reporting that traffic volume is up to 90 percent of normal now, the system has been stabilized and the engineers think they know what went wrong (and it wasn’t a malicious attack). Bates also offered a few more details on the customer compensation plan. Here’s the video:

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