D'oh! Twitter already swamped before Apple announcement

The microblogging service was already slowed to a crawl an hour before Apple was slated to make its biggest announcement in years.

Maya Baratz/Flickr

Seriously, Twitter? We thought the company had learned by now that Steve Jobs has the mystical power to instantly summon the fail whale--or in other words, that nerd chatter surrounding any kind of Apple product announcement is enough to swamp the microblogging service's infrastructure.

An hour before Apple's San Francisco event to the much-hyped tablet device now known as the iPad, Twitter had already slowed to a crawl, spitting out tweets between eight and fifteen minutes late--and sometimes out of order--on both the Twitter.com home page and third-party clients. It doesn't seem like there were any outright appearances of the "fail whale," though.

Around 10 a.m. PT, Twitter updated its status blog: "We are investigating the source of tweet delivery delays this morning." You don't say!

In a later update, Twitter added: "We've temporarily disabled lists and local trends as we further diagnose the delay problem."

Back in the day, a high volume of tech news was enough to completely down Twitter--the company was tiny, its servers were mediocre, and its user base was dominated by Silicon Valley punditry. Now that it's grown much bigger and more stable, news-related outages have become rare.

This post was updated at 11:00 a.m. PT.

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