If one of Twitter’s New Year’s resolutions is to reduce sightings of the fail whale, it is off to a good start. Last week, the service was up a laudable 97.97 percent of the time, beating out even Facebook’s availability of 97.22 percent, according to benchmarks published by AlertSite. The only site in the benchmark with better uptime was YouTube, with 99.13 percent availability during the week. (MySpace and LinkedIn showed below average uptimes of 94.74 percent and 95.48 percent, respectively).
Twitter is almost as famous for its downtime as it is for anything else. So the fact that Twitter had more uptime than Facebook last week shows how far it’s come along—or maybe nobody was Tweeting over New Year’s and sharing pictures on Facebook instead. Let’s hope Twitter can keep it up, or else we’ll have to pull out the Hitler parody videos again (embedded below).
Remember, Facebook is a much more complicated site with 350 million members and an estimated 438 million unique visitors a month worldwide, versus 60 million for Twitter.com (comScore). It is a massive site with a lot more engineering resources, yet its response times are the fastest in the benchmark: 2.21 seconds, on average, versus 2.73 seconds for Twitter. And Facebook is serving up photos, videos, and apps, while Twitter is only serving up text messages and avatar images. Still, at least it’s response time is above the benchmark average of 3.67 seconds. Again, MySpace lags in this measure with an average response time of 6.8 seconds, three times slower than Facebook.
Here’s a video to remind you of the old days (2008) before Twitter had $100 million to spend on engineering (it’s somewhat dated, but still holds up pretty well):