Twitter has been in and out, in and out for the past three hours, and the company finally has an explanation, albeit limited to 140 characters: “Today’s outage is due to a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components. We’ll provide updated information soon.” At first, we suspected this BuzzFeed service piece, which explains how to make any animated GIF your Twitter avatar.
Twitter’s policy explicitly prohibits animated GIF avatars, probably to avoid having the site go all Myspace on everybody or maybe because pulsing and looping hurts Larry T. Bird’s tiny brain. The site started experiencing issues the day after the great GIF invasion. Did the GIFs had anything to do with it? Twitter declined to say, instead forwarding on the above tweet. There goes that theory.
Update at the bottom with a statement from Virgin America.
We reported on Virgin America’s technical difficulties back in November, after a switch to a new reservation system left some users out on the tarmac. Customers encountered weird glitches when they tried to view their accounts or book a flight, and the customer service line was overwhelmed with inquiries. At the time, the problems had been ongoing for a month. And we thought that was bad. Virgin America customers are still running into glitches three months later.
PandoDaily’s Paul Carr wrote about it. Random other people with blogs wrote about it. Even though Virgin
Atlantic America (see disambiguation) told Mr. Carr the service would be fixed by mid-February (first week in December was what they told us), customers are still complaining of errors.