Did World Cup Fans Crash Twitter … Again?

By Helen A.S. Popkin
|  Friday, Jul 2, 2010  |  Updated 6:45 PM EDT
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Did World Cup Fans Crash Twitter … Again?

AP

Does Twitter have a World Cup problem?

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Dutch World Cup underachievers beat the mighty Brazil team on Friday, stunning fans and likely crashing Twitter with tweets about the upset.

"We’ve received reports of elevated error rates for users; we’re currently investigating," Twitter alerted users on its status blog not long after the final point was scored. Since then, it's been updated twice:

“Update (9:47 AM PST, 16:47 UTC): This is unplanned downtime. Infrastructure and operations engineers are working to fully restore Twitter. Expect more updates soon.

Update (9:55 AM PST, 16:55 UTC): We are now recovering from a period of high unavailability.”

While a burst in traffic related to the World Cup isn’t cited as the problem, the Fail Whale outage prompter has been a frequent home page presence since June 11, when the hugely popular competition began.

Last month, a site engineer warned users via Twitter’s news blog to expect frequent outages during the World Cup, when tweeters are especially active posting 140-character messages. During that time, Twitter also added features tied to location-based networks Foursquare and Gowalla. Twitter spent more than five hours offline in June, according to Pingdom, a Web monitoring service.

Users set a record on June 14, posting 940 tweets per second in the 30 seconds following Japan's World Cup win against Cameroon. (On a standard day, about 65 million tweets are posted through the microblogging service, averaging 750 tweets each second according to Twitter.)

Three days later, that record fell when users posted 3,085 tweets per second following the Los Angeles Lakers NBA finals victory. As today's outage reveals, records are made to be broken.

Follow Helen A.S. Popkin on Twitter or join her on Facebook. What are you, chicken?

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