For awhile, there was nothing Twitter could do right. Frequent crashes would prompt a slew of angry bloggers to rant about the service in lengthy posts that criticized the company for being incompetent. But over the last few weeks, the micro-blogging site’s outages have become more rare and the headlines have started to turn positive. Following a recent round of venture funding and an acquisition, Twitter’s turnaround has started to feel real. Even USA Today is noticing. It wrote today: “So many people now use Twitter to update friends that the system often crashes. That could be about to change. Twitter executives are working feverishly to solve the problem through a new investment ($15 million, according to several tech blogs) from Spark Capital and Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos and putting off expansion plans (i.e., making money) until the network issues are resolved.”
Here’s other recent signs:
— On July 8, VentureBeat reported that Twitter’s traffic was at its highest point ever with its site accounting for .0024 percent of all web traffic in the U.S., representing a 500 percent growth rate from the same period last year.
— On July 9, Newsweek reported “Twitter appears to be winning the microblogging arms race. The service boasted an estimated 1.2 million unique visitors in May alone, and may be valued in the eye-popping neighborhood of $100 million.”
— On July 10, ReadWriteWeb wrote that Twitter is back on track and lately, “has been more stable than we’ve ever seen before.” The report found that there were fewer errors and pauses in the services, and that Twitter had upped its API limit to 100 requests per hour – with the goal of keeping the limit to least 70.
But the USA Today story brings up a good point. The turnaround has been expensive, not so much from the perspective of cash — but resources. It’s had to prioritize reliability over new features, and even important things such as coming up with a business model. It reminds me a little bit of Friendster in the early days, where it seemed like it’s slow loading times and usability issues left the door open for MySpace and even Facebook. There’s no question Twitter is showing good signs, but we’ll see if they’ve done enough or did it in time….or perhaps, nothing has changed. Valleywag reports that the USA Today article drove so much traffic to Twitter — it crashed.