It had to happen sooner or later and that sooner (or later) has finally arrived.
Twitter, the online social networking phenomenon that allows people to broadcast short messages that answer the simple question, "What are you doing?" has, as many of you know, been malfunctioning as of late.
"Our robust system of servers was simply overwhelmed, and overwhelmed by one group in particular," was the explanation that came forth from Google CEO and President, Bill Gates. Twitter is a product of the enormously successful Google empire. Gates elaborated: "The wine-blogging community in particular has been responsible for a significant share of traffic on the system. Not only through computers, but also, I'm a bit embarrassed to say, our own products such as the Ipod and Iphone, as well as the Blackberry, have contributed to the problem with all the mobile traffic that is being sent via these devices."
The only remedy to this problem seems to be a reduction in web traffic and a corresponding lightening of the load on Twitter's servers. Gates outlined how this would take place.
"Unfortunately, we are going to have to limit the amount of access wine bloggers have to Twitter," Gates stated. First, there will be a limit on how many messages a Twitter user can send to a fellow Twit. That number depends on how popular the recipient is; the more followers he or she has, the more allocated will be the messages. Someone like say, Gary Vaynerchuk, will have a limit of one Twitter per day that can be sent to him."
"If this doesn't curb the problem, we'll have to introduce step two," Gates continued. "That will be putting some Twits on a wait-list status. Those who already have too many followers will be closed to new followers until an old one drops out. I hate to do this, but we have no choice."
Already software has been developed that targets and identifies Twits with fast-growing lists of followers. This allows one Twit to add that popular Twit to his or her list of those being followed, before the list gets closed off to new followers.
"It's an exponential growth," observed Martin Kringle, developer of Twitalysis, one of the specialized software products that identifies FATs (Fast Action Twits). "We've noticed that as soon as a Twit shows a jump in the number of followers, other Twits jump on the bandwagon and pile it on."
Gates expressed hope that Twitter will not have to resort to charging people to follow certain popular Twits.
"When I invented the internet, I never envisioned problems of this proportion springing up," added Gates' Executive Vice President, Al Gore.