Twitter has been facing serious downtime problems over the past few days and it sounds like things may be getting worse. Not only is the company facing substantial scaling issues but they are also having general customer service issues. Twitter currently has a highly dedicated base of users that notice every second that the site is down. They also tend to voice their opinion on sites like Get Satisfaction, which I wrote about earlier today.
One such person is Ariel Waldman who has been harassed on the site. She was driven to post on Get Satisfaction following Twitter’s decision to not block a user who was making abusive comments toward her. The result has been a long interaction which resulted in Twitter’s decision to not take any action against the abusive user even though they have the right to.
Twitter is extremely expensive to maintain and without a top tier engineering team working on scalability full-time, it will be a challenge for the site to continue for much longer. Luckily the site has raised another $15 million in funding and will be able to buy more servers to handle the increasing load. This isn’t a long-term solution though and as Nik Cubrilovic points out, “Twitter will require not only a new architecture approach and a big injection of the best minds they can find.”
For now users will need to live with shoddy service. This isn’t going to work forever though. Something has to give and it will either be a larger competitor offering a scalable version or Twitter hiring a top-tier team of engineers to handle the problem. What do you think Twitter should do?