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Google's new social networking project suffered a hiccup over the weekend as it ran out of storage space, which caused it to spam users repeatedly before engineers could get the problem fixed. Vic Gondotra, the company's "vice president of Social," took to his own Google+ page to apologize for the problem.

Please accept our apologies for the spam we caused this afternoon. For about 80 minutes we ran out of disk space on the service that keeps track of notifications. Hence our system continued to try sending notifications. Over, and over again. Yikes. We didn't expect to hit these high thresholds so quickly, but we should have. Thank you for helping us during this field trial, and once again, we are very sorry for the spam.

In spite of Gondotra's outright apology, Time's Matt Peckham registered suspicion on Techland today over the outage's true nature. "How do you run out of disk space not two weeks into your first outing? Or is this actually a super-secret marketing ploy to make Google+ seem more in demand, somehow?" He pointed out that the invite-only service has already added some 4.5 million users since its launch two weeks ago. Still, you don't expect Google to have storage problems, as one of the early attractions for Gmail was its massive surplus of disk space.

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