Twitter Is Down, Again [Updated: It's Coming Back Now]

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Update: Twitter service appears to be coming back now after an hour or so of downtime. The mobile site, main website, and iPhone app all appear to be coming back up at least for some people, but not all. [Original story below]

Looks like Twitter is down again. We started noticing just little while ago and it’s happening on the Web as well as on its iPhone and iPad apps, as well as its mobile web site. Twitter tells us it’s aware of the issue and looking into it.

This is the second time this year that Twitter has faced a multi-country outage. The first was a month ago.

With sites like Twitter serving around 500 million registered users, downtime like this can prove to be a publicity dog for communications sites.

A quick check at “Is it down or just me” gave us this:

This is what we’re seeing on Chrome:

We’ve reached out to Twitter and this is what they say:

“We’re aware of the issue and are looking into it. Will let you know when we have an update.”

The last time Twitter had this problem, in June, the company attributed it to a “cascaded bug.” This means that the problem or bug isn’t confined to a particular software element. Instead, the effect “cascades” into other elements as well.

We will be checking here on Twitter’s developer blog for the latest and updating as we learn more. The current status of services on that page shows that all elements of Twitter’s service, except for “userstream”, are seeing “service disruption,” or in the case of “stream” it is seeing “performance issues.”

The userstream most likely refers to, surprise, a a particular user’s stream of tweets. Although if the rest of the service is not working, there isn’t much use of the user tweets.

Twitter’s downtime comes on the same day that Google also faced its own communication breakdown: the company’s Googletalk service faced a worldwide outage for most of the day, European time. Some parts of it are now getting restored, Google says, and it should be up for everyone “in the near future.”

Update: It looks like Twitter is making some progress. The page now goes to this although the scripts to tell people about when to expect the site to work are still not working.

Update 2: Twitter hasn’t offered an explanation yet but here is what performance monitoring company Apica has said:

Our checks confirm that Twitter.com experienced an outage beginning at 11:23 a.m. EDT. It remained completely down until 12:04 p.m., recovered briefly, and then became unavailable again at approximately 12:15 p.m.

At 12:58 p.m. Twitter started delivering server-side error codes – or a “Twitter is currently down” message to some users. But Twitter doesn’t appear to be completely out of the woods just yet. Users along both coasts continue to experience problems connecting.

Apica’s monitoring checks the Twitter home page every five minutes from East and West Coast monitoring locations.

We’ll continue to monitor the situation and provide performance updates throughout the afternoon.