Why Was Twitter Down? The Social Network Had Worldwide Tech Problems

If Twitter seemed a bit temperamental early Tuesday, rest assured: it really wasn’t just you. Twitter suffered a massive outage worldwide Monday night and into Tuesday morning, The Guardian reported. Why was Twitter down? Millions of visitors to the Twitter website and mobile apps in the U.S., the U.K., Europe, and Japan were greeted by a message that “something is technically wrong,” according to the Guardian. The message continued, “Thanks for noticing. We’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon.”

The social media network confirmed the outage with a tweet sent from the Twitter Support account: “Some users are currently experiencing problems accessing Twitter. We are aware of the issue and are working towards a resolution.” However, that account was actually part of the widespread outage, so few followers would have actually seen it. Luckily, Twitter’s troubleshooting and status updates are also reported via a Tumblr blog.

The Guardian reported the outage began just after 3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, with intermittent issues lasting throughout the morning. The Daily Mail reported that while the widespread outage lasted approximately 90 minutes, users were able to log onto the micro-blogging site by early Tuesday morning. Still, many users were having trouble searching the site using keywords, account names, or hashtags.

Several media outlets fumbled reporting the news of the outage since, well, they couldn’t use Twitter. For example, international news agency Agence France Presse sent a breaking news tweet at approximately 4:30 a.m. EST that very few of its 583,000 readers would have actually seen.

Now considered an infrequent nuisance, massive Twitter outages like the one on Monday night used to be far more frequent. In the network’s early days — circa 2009 — users were often greeted with a “fail whale” that meant the site was experiencing an overload or other technical problems. According to The Independent, the microblogging site retired the Fail Whale as updates meant the site went offline far less often and outages got resolved more quickly.

As of 8:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday morning, Twitter had not yet resolved the issue, according to its support blog.

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