HootSuite -- a Web-based "dashboard" application that allows users to manage content on Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter and WordPress -- said on its homepage Thursday morning that the problems were affecting a large number of sites.
"Oh no! It seems much of the Internet is struggling today due to widespread outage problems," HootSuite said on its homepage. "We're working diligently with our upstream providers to resolve the conundrums so we can be back online as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience."
Reddit, a social news website, was unavailable to users by about noon Thursday.
"Reddit is in 'emergency read-only mode' right now because Amazon is experiencing a degradation," said a note atop Reddit's homepage Thursday morning. "They are working on it, but we are still waiting for them to get to our volumes. You won't be able to log in. We're sorry and will fix the site as soon as we can."
While HootSuite and Reddit were down, the location-tracking service Foursquare was among the Amazon Web Services customers whose sites were down earlier in the day but back up late Thursday morning.
Officials at the Seattle company were unavailable for comment on the server problems Thursday afternoon, but a status update page on its Web Services site said the problems began early in the morning at a server bank in northern Virgina.
At 11 a.m. Thursday, Amazon said in a status update that it was working on the problem but wasn't exactly sure when it would be resolved.
"A number of people have asked us for an ETA on when we'll be fully recovered," the Amazon update said. "We deeply understand why this is important and promise to share this information as soon as we have an estimate that we believe is close to accurate. Our high-level ballpark right now is that the ETA is a few hours. We can assure you that all-hands are on deck to recover as quickly as possible. We will update the community as we have more information."
Amazon Web Services uses a large number of server computers in multiple data centers across the U.S. Amazon also specializes in "utility" server needs, which allow users to buy storage space and hosting.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A screenshot of HootSuite's warning to users that its service was down temporarily Thursday morning. Credit: HootSuite