You just don’t know how important something is until it’s gone… at least that’s the sentiment from a number of Twitter users who experienced the third shutdown of the social media site in a week’s time. The widely popular site has become such a mainstay of 21st century social and business lives that its absence can pose actual problems for people who rely on tweets for everything from the latest joke to actual news headlines.
The outage was caused by a software update, although the company isn’t going into detail. An error in the code forced Twitter’s team to revert back to the previous software version in order to get the site up and running again. The lack of capability lasted about six hours, affecting some users in parts of Europe and the US.
The curtain of silence surrounding the issue could very well be because there’s nothing to say: software glitches happen all the time, especially in the widespread roll-out of a version that was only beta tested on a much smaller scale. And it’s not like seeing a Fail Whale is life altering; it’s not exactly up there with waking up to find your Nest thermostat had died during the night due to its latest software update, something that happened to millions of Google product users. iPhone users have also reported huge bugs in the latest iOS update, including a battery meter that tells you the device has plenty of juice, even as the thing phone in your hand.
However, there is some speculation that Twitter’s team is scrambling to prove how viable they still are in this social media climate, and that the intended software update was supposed to give them a leg up towards monetizing the service on a much bigger scale. Stock reports have shown that the company’s standing has been steadily falling from its highest point almost a year ago, and that investors want to see some better numbers soon. Issues like the outages this past week certainly won’t help them out there.