U.S. Markets closed

Major outage hits Twitter around globe

Twitter said its growth stalled at the end of last year, holding at 320 million active monthly users, in a disappointing quarterly update for the struggling messaging platform (AFP Photo/Leon Neal)

San Francisco (AFP) - Twitter feeds went down for hours Tuesday in many parts of the world in one of the worst outages in the 10-year history of the messaging platform.

The popular one-to-many messaging service fired off a tweet shortly after 1800 GMT saying the issue "has now been resolved," and thanking people for their patience.

Twitter said the issue "was related to an internal code change" and added that "we reverted the change, which fixed the issue."

The company offered no additional details.

The online monitor DownDetector showed the number of users reporting outages surged between 0800 GMT and 1400 GMT, and then appeared to subside by 1600 GMT.

A spokesperson for Twitter Europe confirmed the site was down, while users in South Africa, Brazil, the Philippines, Nigeria and Uganda also reported problems accessing the site with the hashtag #twitterdown on Facebook.

Users in affected countries were met with the message: "Something is technically wrong."

Some users managed to post to Twitter despite the outage -- and #twitterdown was the top trending topic on the network.

"So #twitterdown was trending when Twitter was down?!" one astonished user tweeted.

Others made light of the outage, with one tweeting, "#twitterdown was the worst. I had to go on Facebook to make fun of the people on Facebook."

After a shutdown lasting about an hour on Tuesday morning, the site was back online in London and Paris -- but users in both cities experienced intermittent service in the afternoon.

Users elsewhere, including Russia, were also still experiencing problems.

- Twitter tweaked -

The shutdown was also the butt of jokes from some social media channels, with British TV channel E4 posting on its Facebook page: "Twitter is down. Worker productivity hits record levels. UK is out of recession!!!"

Rick Devens, a US radio host, posted on Facebook: "We may never get back some of the clever thoughts I had during this tragic outage."

Twitter has regularly suffered outages since its launch in 2006, but generally of a shorter duration. Its social media rivals Facebook and Instagram have also had to deal with periodic shutdowns.

During a site breakdown in July 2012, frustrated Twitter addicts were unable to post for two hours due to problems at its data centers.

Twitter shares have tumbled 20 percent on the New York stock exchange since the start of the year. Some reports have said it may scrap the 140-character limit that has kept its posts pithy for the last decade.

Tech news website re/code reported this month that tweets of up to 10,000 characters could be available from March, winning a mixed response from users.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey did not confirm the plan, but said the company is "not going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter."

The site continued to lose money over the first three quarters of last year. In October, it reported a third quarter loss of $132 million, on a disappointing 11 percent year-on-year increase in regular users to 320 million.