LONDON: Twitter blamed systems failures — not a crush of traffic around the Olympic Games — for an outage Thursday that saw people around the world experience problems accessing the micro blogging site for more than an hour.
The San Francisco company said the outage was caused by a “noteworthy” double failure in its data centers. When one system fails, a parallel one is meant to take over, but two systems coincidentally stopped working around the same time, Twitter said.
“I wish I could say that today’s outage could be explained by the Olympics or even a cascading bug,” Mazen Rawashdeh, vice president of engineering, said in a news release apologizing to users. “Instead, it was due to this infrastructural double-whammy.”
Visitors to the site Thursday were greeted with a message saying that “Twitter is currently down.” The fields where a reason for the outage and a deadline for restoring service were apparently meant to go were filled with computer code.
Sluggishness or outages were reported for more than an hour in countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Some users were able to post updates through phones or third-party applications.
Tweets about the Olympic torch run through London still poured in, albeit far more slowly than earlier in the day. When the Olympics open today, there is expected to be a bigger spike in Twitter use.
While the site was affected Thursday, many self-proclaimed “Twitter refugees” flooded Facebook with complaints about Twitter. As usual following outages, “WhileTwitterWasDown” was one of the most-talked about topics on Twitter in the United States. Users cracked jokes about their regained productivity as a result of the downtime — or going outside to get some sunshine.
Twitter said in March that it has more than 140 million active users and that the service sees 340 million Tweets a day.