People rely so heavily on social media now that it has almost become crucial to daily life. It’s understandable in that social media brings people from all walks of life, from all around the world together as one. For many, social media networks have replaced telephone conversations, meeting up for lunch, and most often talk to people in person. It is the new form of communication, and there are some people who spend entire days at a time browsing through their Twitter stream and waiting for the next post. Granted, it shouldn’t be a common practice to sit in front of a computer all day, but it has gotten to the point that some people would be perfectly happy doing it. So, one can only imagine what happened to the world when, on Thursday, Twitter went out like an old light bulb.
Obviously, people began to panic. Even though it was only for a total of 40 minutes between the two separate outages, users still complained about what could have been tweeted in that span of time. It isn’t only because people are obsessed with seeing what’s going on in the world, but it’s also because some businesses rely on Twitter for advertising or developmental reasons.
Twitter says in their blog, “We immediately began to investigate the issue and found that there was a cascading bug in one of our infrastructure components.” They explain how the outage had nothing to do with their new office, a hacking, or GIF avatars, but was simply because of a ‘cascading bug.’ Although people were enraged for a good half hour, it was Twitter itself that was hurt most.
A lot can happen in 40 minutes of outage. Twitter is trying hard to make itself known to advertisers and put itself in the center of the advertising world. They want to seem like a reliable and successful site that can be a great option for marketing uses. However, when things like this happen out of the blue due to reasons that are barely explained, advertisers get nervous. Some understand that these things can happen to any website because there’s always somebody out there that wants them gone, but with a chance of losing advertising time in the future if this were to happen again, many became resistant.
In their blog, Twitter does an excellent job at redeeming themselves after what seemed to many like a disaster. They explain, “For the past six months, we’ve enjoyed our highest marks for site reliability and stability ever: at least 99.96% and often 99.99%. In simpler terms, this means that in an average 24-hour period, twitter.com has been stable and available to everyone for roughly 23 hours, 59 minutes and 40-ish seconds.” The people at Twitter know how much their network means to the world, and they were just as scared as we were. Though, it’s obvious that people will continue to use Twitter, it would be unfair for advertisers to judge their reliability based on one small, 40 minute slip up. After all, it can’t change the monumental amount of traffic the site receives on a daily basis.