Google's experimental social networking site Orkut.com went offline on Monday, just after thousands of Silicon Valley executives and techies were invited to join the service.
"We've taken Orkut.com offline as we implement some improvements and upgrades suggested by users," the Orkut team said in an e-mail message sent to members.
Google spokeswoman Eileen Rodriguez confirmed the outage on Tuesday and said that the site should be operating again "shortly."
Orkut, which first went online last week, is the latest example of Google's dabbling in new technology. The service, which aims to connect people via their friends and colleagues, launched quietly, but it quickly generated interest from people around Silicon Valley, where Google is based. Orkut restricts membership, so that people must be invited to sign up, but it sent out thousands of invitations last week.
As an illustration of the exclusivity of Orkut, an invitation to join the network was sold off for $11 on eBay's auction site this week.
"Since Orkut is in the very early stages of development, it's likely to be up and down quite a bit during the coming months...And, if all goes well, you should see some significant improvements when we come back online," the Orkut team told members in the e-mail message.
News source: CNET News - Google's Orkut cuts out