Preparing for the next Twitter wave

Twitter hit  a new milestone yesterday – 20 billion tweets.

According to Mashable, the milestone comes just two months after the service hit 15 billion tweets and about five months since it reached 10 billion, indicating that activity levels on the microblogging service continue to accelerate.

I don’t think anyone would disagree with the view that Twitter is now a mainstream online channel of communication that’s expanded around the world. It’s a compelling means of conversation between friends for many of the 100 million Twitter users, a view borne out in a recent survey by the 360i agency (which also suggests that marketers don’t get Twitter yet).

More people are developing value-added services to enhance your experience of Twitter, whether aimed at an individual tweeter or for a company looking to make connections for its brands.

Twitter itself has developed additional features including discovering who to follow, finding good deals on Twitter, and improving secure sign-in.

But along with such extraordinary growth comes capacity and other problems leading to service unreliability and unavailability from time to time.

When you have big plans, you can’t have unreliability if you want to succeed with those plans.

As I write this, Twitter is offline for planned maintenance. A big task, it seems, as the maintenance windows is five hours and began at 7am UK time this morning. That’s five hours where Twitter won’t be available at some point during that time for 100 million people.

As Twitter’s wholesome graphic on the home page currently says, it’s cool, I can chill. I imagine this maintenance will help Twitter fix recent frustrating issues and will prepare Twitter for the next wave in its development.

Twitter is part of our landscapes.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Branedy

    Twitter ‘transactions’ have never been elevated to the same reliability as, a bank ATM transaction, there is no ACID test with twitter. But before you get in a twitter, guaranteed transactions are extremely expensive, compute wise. And also not very Internet standard. If you are not already aware, not even Email, the lifeblood of of the internet does not have guaranteed delivery. And every packet sent through the internet has a routing lifetime expiry to prevent them from living in the cloud forever (the last time I knew, this was 32 ‘hops)

    Twitters, will get lost. To build a more robust Twitter, will require an expensive business plan, something other than free!

    • neville

      Thanks, Branedy, interesting points of view. You’re talking about uptime guarantee, right? 99.9% etc. I don’t believe Twitter guarantees that. Indeed, they guarantee nothing. So people would be wise to use Twitter with that in mind. As with care about privacy and confidentiality. Which of course most people don’t.

  2. Marcel de Ruiter

    Hi Neville,

    Are you aware that a lot of people seem to have issues logging in to twitter? See a search for @support. I have not been able to login to twitter via its main page for 2 days now.

    And isn’t the maintenance taking a bit too long now?

    • neville

      I didn’t know problems continue, Marcel. Not seen anyone tweeting about that (heh, maybe because they can’t get connected to Twitter?). Maybe an ISP issue or something in The Netherlands perhaps?

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