With fail whales becoming a frequent greeting, the boys and girls at Twitter have decided to inform the twitterverse as to why their social world keeps crashing around them (especially during the World Cup).
Record traffic and unprecedented spikes in activity are never simple to manage. However, we were well aware of the likely impact of the World Cup. What we didn’t anticipate was some of the complexities that have been inherent in fixing and optimizing our systems before and during the event. [...]
Over the next two weeks, we may perform relatively short planned maintenance on the site. During this time, the service will likely be taken down. We will not perform this work during World Cup games, and we will provide advance notification. (Official Twitter Blog)
Twitter is recommending users follow @Support to receive the latest updates regarding the downtime, although they also point users to their status blog which is (wisely) hosted upon Tumblr (note: are they secretly telling us something?).
While Twitter’s downtime is nothing new to long term users, the frequent interruptions could convince users that upgrading to a premium account is simply not worth investing in.
While businesses and professional bloggers will probably buy a premium account out of necessity (mainly for the verified account badge), many users may choose to put their money elsewhere, or worse exit Twitter for more stable pastures (like Facebook).
Unless Twitter desires to forfeit their social crown to smaller rivals, the boys and girls at Twitter need to make these outages an ancient memory.
Hopefully the micro blogging company can quickly resolve these issues, as the last thing the free world needs is to be forced to choose between Facebook and Google (as either option does not look too good in the long run.