SAN FRANCISCO | “Miss us?” Twitter tweeted from its official account as the Great Twitter Outage wound down.
We did, apparently.
For nearly an hour Thursday, the site we use to keep up with everything and nothing appeared inaccessible for people around the world, regardless of celebrity status or follower count. We reloaded and reloaded. Some turned to Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn, but it was just not the same.
Then, shortly before 1 p.m. PT, it was back for many of us. Twitter posted an explanation on its status page blaming an “internal configuration change” that it was fixing.
The actress Chrissy Teigen phrased the collective sigh in all caps, tweeting “OH THANK GOD.” The hashtag “TwitterDown” was trending as users recalled their experiences. Some were too young to remember a time when such an outage was a common occurrence.
Outages were so widespread in Twitter’s early years that a cartoon “fail whale” the company displayed during outages came to symbolize Twitter almost as much as its little blue bird icon. The whale was retired in 2013, largely because Twitter didn’t want to be associated with what it represented any more. After all, outages had become far less common.
This time, Twitter’s home page read in part, “Something is technically wrong. Thanks for noticing.” The disruption appeared to affect both web and mobile app users. According to Down Detector, a website that tracks outages, problems were reported from the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.
The outage came as President Donald Trump convenes a White House conference of like-minded critics of Big Tech. Tech companies such as Twitter weren’t invited.