Twitter has quite a good reputation these days. More and more companies are using Twitter as a way to keep in touch with their colleagues, business partners, clients and as a way to promote themselves. When Twitter went down on Thursday, June 21st, 2012; it was definitely a shocker for many people. Many were flashing back to the days when Twitter wasn’t so reliable and when downtime was just something you had to get used to. In the past six years, things have drastically changed and there are no signs of Twitter losing members any time soon; but the downtime definitely had a negative effect on many users, leaving a sour taste in their mouths.
Every Company Has Bad Days
If you look back at the past six years, Twitter has definitely made some drastic changes to their service and they have experienced next to no downtime since 2010. We want everyone to take a moment to imagine every single aspect of the company and how much information and data is being transferred behind the scenes. There are about 175 million active Twitters users and more accounts being added all the time.
If you own a business and have a website, then you can probably relate to those nasty errors that can seem to appear out of nowhere. It really can throw the entire day off; not only for yourself and those who work for your company but also for the people who come to your site for support or help.
Twitter may not have the fastest loading speed out there, but it’s definitely up in the top 5 and the same goes for uptime. At the end of the day, being the absolute best doesn’t always matter as much as offering a service that is unique and exciting is. If people love what you have to offer and you stand out from the crowd, a little downtime won’t kill you. However, if Twitter were to make this kind of thing a habit and go back to how they were in the beginning, there would definitely be some problems.
Relying on Social Networking Sites
Many businesses rely on social networking sites as a way to get their names and/or products out there. Especially when it comes to small companies who cannot afford large amounts of advertising and marketing, having downtime on Twitter can greatly affect them. While many individuals see Twitter as simply a place to connect with friends and have some fun; it is so much more than that.
Twitter can either make or break your business (as dramatic as that may sound). If Twitter were to be down much of the time and let’s say a company had certain information that a client needed and wasn’t able to receive it, that could prove to be extremely costly to the company; potentially losing customer as well as cash.
Longest Downtime in Months
The last time Twitter had a long period of downtime was back in October of 2011 when the site was down for a total of about an hour. In the last half a year, Twitter has had a reliability rate of 99 percent, which we must give them credit for. It’s extremely commendable for a website to be able to offer such consistency when there are so many variables.
So, Why All the Downtime?
Twitter went down a few times throughout the afternoon. The first outage happened a minute before noon and the site was back up at 1 in the afternoon. However, less than an hour went by before the site went down yet again. By 1:42, Twitter was up and running again and Twitter’s status blog stated that the issue was resolved and that everything was back up and running once again.
About 30 minutes later, the website went down once more. When asked what had caused the issue, a PR rep for Twitter said a ‘cascading bug’ caused the problems. There have been many jokes surrounding this issue and those asking themselves ‘what in the world would we do without Twitter?’ This website really has become such a large part of people’s everyday lives that even what may seem like a short period of time without it, many do not know what to do with themselves.
What This Downtime Meant for Other Websites
Twitter going down affects a lot more than just Twitter alone. Many websites these days, for example, allow you to sign in via your Twitter account, instead of requiring you to sign up for their website directly. If Twitter is down, not only are you not able to log into Twitter, but you are not able to log into say; your favorite forum.
If there are many sites that you have set up this way, you can imagine how much deeper the issue can go. You may want to consider signing up for these websites instead of just using your Twitter or Facebook sign in so you still have access even when these sites are down.
What Can Be Learned From This
Not just when it comes to Twitter, but when it comes to any website that you use for business purposes, always have a backup. If the only way people can contact or find you is via Twitter, this can prove to be troublesome. Make sure you have other options out there such as a Facebook page. This way, if one website is having problems, people can still get a hold of you and your day can run much smoother. Leaning on one single form of communication is never a good idea. Yes, it may work most of the time but why risk it?
Stephane Brault is continuously online on twitter (@WebmastersCafe). She has written many tutorials and reviews to help webmasters. Her latest review http://www.webmasterscafe.com/joomla-hosting-reviews/ profiles hosting services that support Joomla.