Slack down: Office chat app breaks in the middle of the working day

Slack, the office chat app, has broken in the middle of the working day.

Users found themselves unable to send messages to colleagues as a result of what appeared to be a technical issue.

The app is used by workplaces across the world to stay in touch, and has become especially key in an era of widespread remote work.

The outage came just after hours after similar technical problems at Microsoft. Those took down its own Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, as well as other platforms including Outlook email and Xbox Live.

The outage at Slack began at just before 3.30pm, according to tracking website Down Detector. That showed a number of reports from affected users across the world.

About half an hour later, the service was back online. The outage was so quick that Slack’s status page and Twitter account only recognised the issue after it appeared to have been sold.

“Some customers are having trouble loading channels and threads, sending messages in Slack, previewing files. We’re actively looking into this and will post an update once we have more details,” it wrote on Twitter.

But much of the rest of Twitter was expressing panic and delight at being unable to work as usual on Wednesday.

Slack says that it has more than 200,000 paid customers, and is used by 77 of Fortune 100 companies. Those include many of the world’s biggest firms, such as Target, Uber and Netflix.