Twitter disruption silences swaths of US, Europe for hours

Image: Twitter

Some Twitter users had to do without early Tuesday after sporadic outages knocked the social media site offline in the U.S. and Europe.

It was unclear how widespread the outages were, but by mid-morning on the East Coast, desktop and mobile versions of Twitter appeared to be working. And the company tweeted early in the afternoon that the issue had been resolved.

Twitter Inc., which has 320 million active users, said on its website that the six-hour-long disruption was related to a change in an internal code, which the company subsequently reversed, fixing the issue.

Earlier in the day, users said the service was not accessible on desktop computers. Twitter's blog posts, corporate info and most other pages on the website were also inaccessible, displaying the blue error screen.

There were complaints of users receiving a "server error" just before 8 a.m. Eastern.

Twitter's mobile app was partially functioning for some users but its timeline updated new tweets sporadically. Its search function appeared disabled as some hashtags or keyword searches returned no results. Users' profile pages appeared to be accessible from the mobile app.

Third party services, such as the TweetDeck service, also returned a blank page.

Twitter has suffered several service disruptions so far this year. On Monday, some users could not access Twitter on mobile and web for about 10 minutes. The service was disrupted on Friday for about 20 minutes.

The outages come at a time when San Francisco-based Twitter and its executives are trying to convince Wall Street that they can deliver bigger revenue and profits. Meanwhile, the company's stock languishes at all-time lows. Twitter shares have lost 68 percent of their value since peaking at $52.87 in April.

On Tuesday, Twitter shares fell $1.25, or 7 percent, to close at $16.69.

Twitter released a statement blaming what it calls "an internal code change" for the outage. The company says the problem was fixed by reinstalling the previous software.

It was the third Twitter outage in five days. The shutdowns come as the company seeks to convince Wall Street it can earn more money from its 320 million users worldwide. In a sinking market, Twitter stock has fallen about two-thirds from its April peak.