This is really starting to get annoying! Every time I try to use twitter some problems occur, such as not loading twitter at all, my followers list won’t load so I can’t follow back my new followers, trends have gone and that’s just some of it. Messages from twitter like “We’ve temporarily disabled #NewTwitter. Our engineers are working on re-enabling it and we’ll update you shortly,”, “Temporarily Disabling Trends” and my favourite “something is technically wrong”, I’m sure have the twitter CEO’s shouting down the phone at somebody.
It seems the problems are all linked to twitter switching over to a new server, located in a secret location (Utah) and the launching of a new homepage. The new homepage focuses on getting people to follow each other’s interests by using a search facility that throws up users concerned with certain search phrases rather than a name that contains the search phrase. The move to a new secret server infrastructure was supposed to make twitter a smooth rapid social network machine but it has caused nothing but problems, so much so that they have switched back to the old server in Sacramento, California. The new infrastructure was planned to support a new set of features which have now all been scrapped just so twitter has some functionality.
For an organisation as big as twitter this really is a huge fail, the simple fact is that I tried using twitter before writing this article and I could not load my followers list. Twitter is full of bugs and very slow to load (it’s not my computer or Internet connection).
I can’t help but feel that all of this is a lesson for Facebook who are gearing up to launch their new server at the end of this month. I really can’t imagine the scale of the task ahead of them but many users of Facebook will be hoping for a smooth transition. The Facebook are clever guys, the ‘open compute project’ is kind of like kicking twitter in the balls. Twitter keep their new server infrastructure secret, Facebook tells the whole world how cool their new server infrastructure is. If the Facebook transition to the new system is smooth, you can’t help but think that Facebook have won some moral and engineering battle over its biggest social networking rival.