Twitter says error in 'routine change' caused brief outage

Some users lost service for about half an hour on Monday

Twitter was back in working order on Monday afternoon after experiencing multiple technical issues earlier in the day that caused some users' tweet streams to not update, among other problems.

Due to "an error in a routine change," the site was not available from 1:08 p.m. 1:33 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Monday, the company confirmed in a post on its status blog. Other delays in the delivery of tweets may have occurred for another twenty minutes following that, the company said.

"We rolled back the erroneous change as soon as we identified the issue," the company said. Since then, "the issue has been resolved," Twitter said.

Twitter had no additional information to offer, such as the number of users affected, beyond the blog post.

In addition to problems with the main feed, the "connect" and "discover" tabs also were not functioning properly for some users, both on the desktop and some mobile versions of Twitter. For example, on iOS, users' most recent mentions may not have been displayed. At one point the search function on Twitter was also down for some users.

Service outages and technical difficulties on Twitter are not uncommon. Since January alone, the site has publicly confirmed the occurrence of more than 10 site issues, with some being larger than others. But Monday's issues highlight the mistakes large Internet companies can make while updating their software live.

Microsoft's webmail services suffered a two-day outage in March following a firmware update in one of its data centers.

Twitter's content is also becoming more complex. In April, the company expanded its Cards program to give developers more options for how they embed content into tweets. The changes support three new types of mobile content in expanded tweets: mobile apps, photo galleries and product listings.

Last month, Twitter bought data analytics company Lucky Sort, in a move apparently aimed at giving Twitter better information about users' tweets.

Twitter has more than 200 million monthly active users, with more than 400 million tweets sent per day, according to the company.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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Zach Miners

IDG News Service
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