Millions of avid tweeters were left #twiddlingtheirthumbs yesterday when Twitter suddenly went down for a number of hours.
Users of the social media platform began reporting blackouts at around 8.30am, with Twitter timelines then sporadically reappearing for some users on mobile apps just before 11am.
Over the following hours, however, the site regularly dropped back offline, with images and videos failing to load at all for many during this time.
By 3pm, the service appeared to begin to stabilise. The issue was the longest-lasting in the micro-blogging site’s almost 10-year history.
At the height of the collapsed service, users trying to log on were confronted by the message: “Something is technically wrong. Thanks for noticing — we’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon.”
Europe appeared to be particularly badly affected. In other parts of the globe, the service remained relatively unaffected.
An initial message on Twitter’s support account read: “Some users may have recently experienced issues accessing Twitter on mobile & web. The issue has now been resolved.”
Then another one appeared which read: “Some users are currently experiencing problems accessing Twitter. We are aware of the issue and are working towards a resolution”.
Many of the social media platform’s users who encountered the problem — and who were able to get a tweet posted — did so to #twitterdown, with many seeing the funny side.
“With #twitterdown I spent a few hours with my family,” wrote one. “They seem like nice people.”
Another posted: “With #twitterdown, I noticed this square-shaped hole in my wall that gave off light. Apparently it’s a window, but I can’t minimise it”.
Even ESB Networks which initially tweeted: “Due to issues with Twitter we may not be able to see Tweets. To report a fault or an emergency pls call 1850 372 999”, found a spark of humour, later adding: “#Twitter spluttering like a Tractor on a cold #Cavan morning but we are starting to see tweets. #staysafe #twitterdown #twitteroutage”.
Though short, regular blackouts were common in the early days of the site — an Apple live event caused it to crash under the weight of traffic in 2008 — extended outages have become less frequent in recent years, with the last major drop in service occurring in 2014 when the site was down for around 45 minutes.
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