Twitter recently suffered another major outage, with various elements of the platform going down as a result of an internal change that had some ‘unintended consequences,’ according to Twitter’s Support account. Many users were unable to view images, click links, or even just load up the site, at least for a while. Twitter was eventually able to get things back up and running.
The Load’s Catching Up
Some users reported getting the error message ‘your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint’, which led some to speculate that the issue was related to Twitter’s fee API access change, which limits access for developers. It’s still unclear as to what actually caused the error, though Chief Twit Elon Musk did Tweet, stating that the site is currently ‘so brittle’, implying that even minor changes can have major consequences.
Of course, the immediate assumption is that Twitter’s lack of oversight, due to its cutting over 70% of its staff, is the likely cause of these ongoing outages, as well as a plethora of other experience-based problems. For the most part, though most of these issues have been minor, they will eventually worsen, especially if Twitter were to scale up its activities. Outgoing Twitter staff have warned that the platform is on the brink of collapse, as various system errors pile up, due to less monitoring and maintenance, but again, the platform is still mostly running as normal.
It does seem that Elon’s Icarian management style is putting the site at risk, which may eventually lead to a more significant crash or outage. This is something Twitter can ill afford – a recent report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that Twitter’s overall revenue intake is down 40% YoY, while 70 of the platform’s top 100 advertisers have not returned to the site since Musk took over.
Musk’s plan to subsidize the company’s revenue via subscriptions to Twitter Blue also hasn’t worked out, with only around 300,000 users, or 0.12% of its current user base. As such, it seems that Elon and Co. will need to come up with another revenue plan for the app. Twitter’s most recent staff cuts are taking it closer to the edge than ever before.
It’s unlikely that Musk and his investor partners, who have already sunk billions into Twitter, will let up on their current plans. But it also doesn’t seem like there are many more cuts to be had, and as Twitter’s operational issues continue to stack up, it’s clear that significant changes are needed, which, in turn, will require more investment.
We could bet that Musk and his team will eventually stabilize the app, but these most recent outages do raise more questions about how the app’s back end works and what might be happening without the same level of management as they’ve had before. Regardless, it doesn’t do Twitter any good that it occasionally has these downtimes. Musk and Co. have to do something to stabilize the app’s operations, lest they risk it completely going dark forever.