Twitter tweeted out of its official accounts as the Great Twitter Outage wound down.
We did, seemingly.
For nearly an hour Thursday, the support we use to keep up with everything and nothing appeared inaccessible for people around the world, irrespective of celebrity status or follower count. We reloaded and reloaded. Some turned to Instagram, Facebook, and sometimes even LinkedIn to express outrage over the outage.
But it was simply different.
Then, shortly before 1pm PT (1:30am IST, Friday), it was back for many people. Twitter posted an explanation on its status page attributing an”internal configuration switch” that it was mending.
The model Chrissy Teigen phrased the collective sigh in all caps, tweeting”OH THANK GOD.” Earlier, she turned to Instagram to post everything looked like a tweet:”TWITTER IS DOWN I DON’T KNOW WHERE ELSE TO SAY THIS AHHHHHH.” How serious she had been is in the eyes of the beholder.
The hashtag”TwitterDown” was trending as customers remembered their experiences. Some were too young to recall a time when such an outage was a common occurrence.
Outages were so prevalent in Twitter’s early years that a cartoon”fail subway” the company exhibited during outages came to symbolise Twitter nearly as much as its little blue bird celebrity. The whale has been initially retired in 2013, largely since Twitter didn’t need to be connected with exactly what it represented any more. In the end, outages had become much less common.
This time, Twitter’s home page read in part,”Something is wrong. Thanks for noticing.” The disturbance appeared to affect both web and mobile app users. Based on Down Detector, a site which tracks outages, problems were reported from the US, Europe and elsewhere.
Facebook and Instagram also have experienced outages lately, during which time users switched to Twitter to joke and whine. But for the politicians, actors and other public figures who utilize Twitter as their main communications platform — and also for the men and women who follow them nothing compares with the instant, public nature of the service.
The outage came as President Donald Trump convened a White House conference of like-minded critics of Large Tech. Tech companies like Twitter weren’t encouraged.