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Twitter Availability & Response Times: A Mixed Bag

From an all-time low of 76% registered on May 20th of this year, Pingdom.com’s uptime statistics for Twitter has slowly been increasing. Ideally, you want extended stretches of near 100% uptime, something that hasn’t occurred since mid April:
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Daily uptime has hovered around 98% over the last week. Sound impressive? To put things in perspective, 2% downtime means that twitter.com/home is unavailable for 115 minutes every 4 days. The leading social networking sites Myspace and Facebook were each down a total of 20 minutes for the entire month of April! Through the first five days of June, twitter.com/home has already been down a total of 2.85 hours.

From a usability perspective, response time has been slow through the first five days of June. Waiting for (close to) 4 seconds for a page to load does not make for a pleasant user experience. I know that lots of users access Twitter through the API, but the web site is still important to a large contingent of members.
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Several people on the Radar team now spend more time on Twitter than on blogs. The service itself is amazing, but for the moment, it may have attracted more users than it can handle. Nevertheless, I remain an avid user and an optimist. The trend for uptime indicates things are improving, albeit slowly. We are still in the early part of June, and so far uptime has been much better than May. On the other hand, if someone came along and offered better response times and reliability, along with similar API’s, I sense some users would quickly flock to that service. Personally, I have been playing around a lot more with FriendFeed while waiting for my Twitter pages to reload.

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