Twitter suffered a significant outage on Tuesday afternoon, as the service was unavailable for “most users” who tried to access it via the Web or mobile devices.
As of midday, the site has been practically unusable (unless accessed via SMS) for more than 30 minutes.
Twitter’s biggest point of pride for the past year has been maintaining consistent uptime, unlike its early, unstable days, when the service was often down. Those were often called the “fail whale” days, because of the familiar whale cartoon that was displayed whenever the site had issues.
Instead, Twitter has apparently replaced the whale with a cutesy caterpillar and an ice cream cone.
The timing was impeccable: Twitter went down just as one of its co-founders, Biz Stone, was onstage at the South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. Live-tweeters were out of luck.
Oh, and shares of Twitter were slightly up in trading on Tuesday, at $54.67.