Mystery as Twitter goes down


Productivity in offices in Ireland and across the world may have spiked this afternoon after both Twitter and G-Chat crashed for about an hour leaving people with little to distract them but work.

Almost as soon as the problems which brought down Google's messaging service earlier today were resolved, users of Twitter found themselves unable to access the social networking site.

It disappeared shortly after 4pm and while the company said it was aware of the problem it did not indicate what the cause of the outage was.

The problems affected the website while some mobile phone clients were also down. TweetDeck has also been under pressure and has been hit by a range of streaming issues.

All Twitter would say was that its engineers were working on a fix. One message posted by the company reads: ""Howdy folks, looks like we're experiencing a small interruption of and some mobile clients."

Other users attempting to access the site throughout the evening saw a blank page or a status page which says "users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter".

Still more were greeted with the somewhat incomprehensible message "Twitter is currently down for <%= reason %>".

That page then went on to explain helpfully that "We expect to be back in <%= deadline %>. For more information, check out Twitter Status. Thanks for your patience!"

When Twitter was in its infancy, outages were common place and when the site died, users would be confronted by a large blue whale which became known as the "fail whale".

In recent years, its technology has improved dramatically and it is unusual for the site to go down for such long periods although this is the second time in less than a month there have been serious connectivity issues. On June 21st the site crashed for just under two hours as a result of a bug in the system.

Irish users of the social network may well have been outraged by the outage although it is hard to be sure as they were  unable to take to Twitter to vent their spleen.