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Twitter success at crucial point

Category : Domain names, Internet, Sex.com, Technology ยท by Aug 6th, 2009

So everyone and their dog knows about Twitter. Now the problem is they have started using it – and you can see it through the pretty drastic impact on third-parties the past two weeks or so.

Services you use to make Twitter more manageable keep getting knocked offline. A few months ago Twitter itself was suffering from the attention and keep falling offline. It was at an inflexion point – it had grown so much that it needed an influx of money to build the system to deal with the demand. And that’s when the likes of Google started offering to buy it – leading Twitter’s owners to (somewhat stupidly to my mind) outright reject any suggestion of selling their company.

Twitter got some money and hired consultants – one of whom I know – to help them deal with demand. They shifted to the same style of server spread and backup that Google and Facebook use.

That wave has passed but now the third-parties are having the same problem. Tr.im – which allows you to stick in a long URL and get a short one out (which is ideal for those 140-character-only tweets) – has been falling offline repeatedly in the past fortnight. It’s got so bad that I’m ready to shift to a different company. And today Splitweet – which allows you to post to multiple Twitter accounts – also went offline. It popped up an hour or so later saying it was under a denial of service attack. As of writing this I still can’t use its service.

The same is happening with other third-parties. SocialToo is running slow. And Twitterfeed keeps timing out while I’m trying to create an account with it because I can’t use Splitweet.

All this means that, after Twitter itself hit the wall and pushed through, that the third-parties feeding off this service’s success are also about to hit that wall. They are going to need money to maintain their (free) service. Who is going to stump up that money? And to which service? Should be interesting to see which services people think will be able to provide a return on investment, and which will fall by the wayside.

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