Twitter Struggled to Keep Up with Inauguration Traffic

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Users of real-time communication giant, Twitter, experienced connectivity and access issues yesterday. Although there were no “fail whales” to be seen, page load errors for were common for a good portion of the afternoon yesterday. The issues started around 4:00 p.m. Eastern as messages about President Obama’s second inauguration began to fill twitter streams worldwide. At the time of the swearing in ceremony tweets were flying at about 18,000 tweets per minute.


Even late into the evening users were still experiencing glitches. Along with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday here in the United States and the Presidential events, Monday night is typically a busy night for Twitter chats. Although no one was blocked entirely, posting updates or retweets were a bit hit and miss. For a while my official Twitter app updated about 15 minutes behind the action on my favorite chat.

As of this morning, all of the issues have been resolved and users should be able to access Twitter as usual.

Over the past couple of years, Twitter has made significant progress in its service reliability. For those long time users, the fail whale used to make regular appearances when Twitter was over capacity. Those days are long gone. Even the occurrences of twitter jail are few and far between now. But because usage of Twitter is far more in the moment than an other social site, users are far more aware when the service has issues.

If anything, traffic spikes like those experienced during the election season and during yesterday’s events prove that Twitter is here to stay. Devotees of communication in 140 characters or less love the instant access to news, friends, and colleges. And thanks to mobile integration, there’s no barrier to reaching out or speaking one’s mind at the very moment of thought.

For brands and businesses that are ready to connect to their customers, Twitter still holds much potential. The communication medium provides opportunities to address customer service issues in real time, find new customers and business partners, gain greater understanding of customers on an individual basis, and act on fresh marketing campaigns quicker than ever before. With approximately 200 million active users, Twitter is a marketing platform that cannot be ignored.

Michelle Stinson Ross

Michelle Stinson Ross

Content & Outreach Goddess at AuthorityLabs
Michelle Stinson Ross is a digital marketing industry recognized authority on the outreach power of social media. She has worked as a community manager and... Read Full Bio
Michelle Stinson Ross
Michelle Stinson Ross
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  • karen mains

    I agree that twitter has something that facebook don’t have. And I think it would be safe to say that in the long run, twitter will have far better marketing capabilities than the rest of the social networks.

  • Vaibhav

    Thats a shame for such a big site. I faced some similar problem but its glad to hear that everything is back to normal

    • Michelle Stinson Ross

      It’s due to exponential growth 🙂 Personally I’m glad if Twitter is going to have issues that they are these kinds of issues related to popularity and the need for more server space. It’s annoying, but the right problems to have.

  • Alice Ly | PayPro Business

    The Tweets per minutes stats were pretty amazing too. Almost 19K TPM for the 2013 inauguration compared to a little over 3K for the 2009 one. (From the @gov Twitter handle)

  • Rahul

    Website having access issues. Definitely a bad server or it is going to be BIG.