The Twitpocalypse Is Upon Us

Are we in the final days of Twitter?

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[ Social Media]

Update 1: The Twitpocalypse occured on June 12, 2009 at 11:52 PM GMT.

UPDATE 2: The Twitpocalypse has claimed its first victim, the popular iPhone app Twitterrific, read more here.

That’s right, the Twitpocalypse is almost here.

Before you rush out for canned food and medical supplies, let’s take a closer look at the Twitpocalypse.

The Twitpocalypse is predicted to be this monstrous event that will ravage Twitter and leave all Twitterers without a place for their 140 characters of text… and we are mere days from it happening.

Are you nervous about the Twitpocalypse? Tell us.

The Twitpocalypse will happen on June 14, 2009 @ 7:10:53 GMT (at the time of this writing).

The Twitpocalypse is nearly upon us!

Below is an explanation of how and why the Twitpocalypse will go down…

The Twitpocalypse is similar to the Y2K bug. Very soon the unique identifier associated to each tweet will exceed 2,147,483,647

"For some of your favorite third-party Twitter services not designed to handle such a case, the sequence will suddenly turn into negative numbers. At this point, they are very likely to malfunction or crash."

I’ll see if I can explain this a little further for you. Each Tweet has a unique number assigned to it, for identification purposes… and those numbers are about to cross the threshold where they can be given a 32-bit integer, which only go from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,648. So this means that about two billion Tweets have been sent!

What’s ironic about this whole thing is people are Twittering about the Twitpocalypse, and by doing so, they’re adding to the problem that is the core of the Twitpocalypse. Talk about irony.

Tweet contributing to the Twitpocalypse

Recently, I talked with the lead developer of Twellow, Matthew Daines, and asked him about the Twitpocalypse…

"I haven’t researched it too much, but I doubt this will be a major issue. Sure, some apps might have some funny hiccups, faulty tweet references, or other problems, but any app that’s being used will address the issue, and it will be forgotten, in my opinion".

See folks, the Twitpocalypse is something to keep an eye on… but nothing to induce a panic. Oh, and don’t you think if something was wrong with Twitter they would’ve mentioned something about it by now?

Look at Y2K, a much bigger deal, and it turned out to be a non-event… but just in case, anyone know if you can get Wi-Fi in a bomb shelter?

The Twitpocalypse Is Upon Us
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  • Guest

    Everybody panic!!!

    Just kidding, I’m sure it’ll pass with minimal causalities.

  • http://www.cumaini.com CuMa InI

    waw.. amazing… :D

  • http://www.twitstore.com Twit Store

    Much ado about Nothing! Twitter should be more worried about user engagement over an extended period of time…

  • Darren

    Good article… but this seems like overhyped tabloid garbage.

  • http://alert.sqwark.me SEO, SNIFLS, SUCS and FUCSY

    Don’t worry, I have the cure. Soon to be released, with full web 2.0 compliance including SEO, SNIFLS, SUCS and FUCSY
    It’s called Twatter! soon to be followed by Twotter and in worst case scenario Pratter and then of course Flatter, flitter, flutter… god will it ever end!

  • http://www.blogspot.com Haley’s Comet

    Would it be so bad if Twitter went down for a day, or a whole week.

    I’m pretty sure the world would go on without it. You would just see people hashtagging stuff out of #reflex.

  • 2Pacalypse

    For some reason everytime I read twitpocalypse, I think of 2Pacalypse Now.

    Maybe 2 Pac is involved somehow? He’s still alive you know.

  • http://nthambazale.com Clement

    Yes this is over hyped just like the Y2K thing. Twitzap is working pretty fine

  • Guest

    “Are we in the final days of Twitter?”

    God, I hope so!

    • http://www.innatmoonlightbeach.com thunefeld

      reply to: “Are we in the final days of Twitter?” God, I hope so!


  • http://www.juicy-flawless.org Angela

    I’m tired of hearing about it. The idea is really useless to me. Writing about what you’re doing or feeling at the moment under a certain amount of characters? OK…

  • http://www.freshwebz.co.uk FreshWebz Web Design

    I really have to say I don’t care!

    I’m yet to understand the point of Twitter! Facebook & MySpace yes – social bookmarking – possibly, but Twitter – no.

    It really does seem the ultimate in “listen to me” cries for help! I set up 5 accounts for various affiliate sites, but really don’t see what purpose they serve – I don’t have time to truly interact with other people on there & certainly don’t want to read all the other nonsense – presumably therefore, other people don’t want to read mine!

    I would love someone to explain the point to me!

  • http://www.logodesignnext.com logo design service

    Just happen already!
    Hopefully this won’t fizzle out like Y2K and will actually happen.

    I’ve got my spaceship ready in case of any emergency.

  • http://www.snerdey.com Snerdey

    RIP Twitter ;)

    Go ahead and follow me anyway!!


  • Chris

    Sounds like more twaddle – which is what twitter is full of anyway.

    I only wish it *would* actually happen.

    – C

    • http://xpmc.com xpmc

      Twitter is stupid. How can so may intelligent people NOT Realize how stupid it is?

  • http://www.ehow.com/how_4875975_survive-end-of-world.html Cyber Rainbow

    I think I just twittered in my pants

  • http://www.tpdesigns.net Bay Area Twit

    I guess we should all upgrade immediately to 64-bit to make sure this doesn’t happen! I will be eating a burrito at 6PM this evening and need to tell my network about it.

    • http://eclecticschooling.blogspot.com Sweet Serendipity

      rofl, toche!

  • http://www.rhinotelemarketing.com rhino telemarketing

    I hope they fix it before it becomes a problem. Twitter has help us get the word out about our pay for performance b2b lead generation appointment setting services and helped us find quality lead generation experts. http://theleadexperts.com

  • http://www.seo-serp.com SEO

    Come on! Die already. The whole idea that sending a Tweet of a 140 characters is nothing new and quite simplistic anyways. We should be moving forward on the next great thing and not accepting such a simple and non-inventive product.

  • http://freelance-webdesign.eu Webdesigner

    Is this serious?

    • Jeremy Muncy

      Yes, it’s serious.

      It’s all a bit dramatic… but real.

      Twitterrific, the popular iPhone app, was the first causality.

      Jeremy Muncy
      Follow me on Twitter twitter.com/jmuncy”>@jmuncy

  • imbwitching

    I never got the point of twitter. I just hope it goes away and becomes some embarrasing fad and I can be happy to say that I never twittered. The same as I never really liked New kids on the block either or understood why one should wear 2 pairs of socks at once like everyone else did in the 80s. It just makes no sense and is a waste. Who the heck cares if you just went to the bathroom and are now going to play video games. get a life and those who read them should get even more of a life. PATHETIC.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security

    I use Twitter mainly for socially marketing my safety and security web site so I’m always interested in what’s going on there. Although your article raised some concern, it was more entertaining than an alert. Thanks, Jeremy!

    • Jeremy Muncy

      Glad you found my article entertaining.

      I was trying to make light of the situation that could’ve been much worse.

      Jeremy Muncy
      Follow me on Twitter twitter.com/jmuncy”>@jmuncy

  • http://www.holisticwebworks.com doug

    I don’t think any of the important Twitter services will collaspse. If they do, so what? Perhaps, President Obama can come up with a way of rescuing them. After GM, Twitter would be a piece of cake. And, besides, don’t we all want more government control of the internet and its various service providers?

  • http://www.Engineed.com Engine Ed

    I highly doubt Twitter will disappear anytime soon. My friend gets sales from twitter and they are increasing, not decreasing. She tracks her sales with Google Analytics and Twitter is for real.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AlwaysAWarrior Twitter This

    Naw not me … I’d be more worried about Mount Saint Helen as being the Super Volcano and this years Hurricane season than a small little blue bird.

    Tweet tweet

  • http:///www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com traffic ticket

    Twitter is use leesss…no one cares about twitter.

    • Jeremy Muncy

      Loads of people care about Twitter.

      Jeremy Muncy
      Follow me on Twitter twitter.com/jmuncy”>@jmuncy

  • http://www.durashopping.com Guest

    I dont tweet! Never have and never will. I dont care what the **** Oprah or Ashton or anybody else is doing. I have my own life to live. And I would prefer that everyone didnt need to know every thing I do every minute of the day. Twitter is for people who need to be the life of the party and cant stand to be alone and need constant approvle and acceptance from others to feel good about themself. Or people who have no life and have a fantasy of liveing the life of someone popular and accepted. In a nut shell Twitter is for people who are self absorbed, needy , lonely or mentaly ill. Its time to turn off your computer and go out in that big scary world a get a LIFE!!!

    • Guest

      I have a life, Twitter tells me so :)

      Seriously, Twitter is what you make of it. I use it for a knowldege base and its very effective as such. You make of the tool with who you follow.

  • http://www.marchbooks.com Marchbooks

    I find it curious and funny to see the number of people who are taking the TIME to comment on what a waste of TIME Twitter is.

    Of course we are on Twitter. For those who do not think it is a waste of time, feel free to check us out http://twitter.com/marchbooks

  • http://www.seosean.com SEO Services

    This will not be a problem, just make another id field in the database and BAM! you’ve got another 2,147,483,647 tweets to go.

  • http://leisureforte.com leisure forte

    anyone notice the increase in spam lately at twitter?

    • Britney

      All of my friends Twitter and we have a substantial following of people that want to know where we are. Sometimes we can notify everyone w/out having to interact with LOSERS. I don’t know what we will do without Twitter!

      • http://www.sytemaker.com/ sytemaker

        reading this makes me really sad…

        • Bonochromatic

          Actually, sytemaker, reading YOUR comments makes me really sad. You troll a third-rate tech blog, bitching about Twitter – that’s actually more pathetic than any of the “pathetic” behavior you’ve described here.

          Don’t like (or understand the value of) Twitter? Shit or get off the pot – I for one have better things to do than sit around, reading your ignortant, snarky comments.

          • Kid

            Good point. ANYONE commenting here, just to insult Twitter, has pretty much risen to the highest height of hypocrisy.

  • ffvip

    I seen the impact from reading at http://bit.ly/OMGtwit This is like Y2K but effects were minimal. I know Twitterholic was down yesterday and other programs like TweetDeck, Twitteriffic, and Tweetie were affect too. Check out that site! Best twitter trends site

  • Guest

    To be pedantic, it’s not -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,648, it is -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647.

  • LaughingMan

    anyone with a decent knowledge of how computers work will see the obvious flaw in this, and I can only hope that whoever set up the twtr database had at least an once of sense in design.

    Using a 32bit representation for an integer is fine, but it can be interpretted in 2 different ways. What has been reported here is the 2’s compliment view, where values over 2147483647 are seen as a negative number. This view is non-sensical for a sequential ID in a database. Rather than an ‘int’ field, it should be declared ‘long’ such that the full 0 -> 4294967295 range of numbers can be used without pain.

    If any supporting applications are interpretting the values as int they should return to basics about their choices of appropriately specified variables. If anything fails, they had it coming to them, and I have little sympathy – this is schoolbook stuff.


    • Kid

      You must be smart. That was hard to read. And not very funny. But I get you. You basically are saying that Twitter app designers are complete n00bs, and only stupid apps will crash. Sounds good.

      (Re-titles your post as) “Twitter pwns n00bs.” Now it’s a good post. =)

  • me,myself and I.

    I made time to read about comments,sorry I did.

    That comment about mentally ill people is true.The problem is that the people at the other end(Twitter management) is equally ill and just immature.

    That you are knowledgeable about social networks and IT in general is just that,notice I didn’t say geek,but OMG the degree of common sense and lack of reasoning is too obvious.

    Twitter is a great tool to use for about half hour a day,that’s all.
    If you are in marketing,you are most likely using a bot,I do.

    Nowadays,one needs to know about the law that applies to online marketing period.

    Any freak on a bad day can cause a lot of damage,these sick puppies should not be allowed to even get online.

    Keep your guard up.

    Now,let me see if I can guess what 4+12 is equal to.

  • http://www.thebookabyss.com.au Australian Online Bookshop

    Like the Y2K, this ‘catastrpophy’ will pass with no more than hick-up. Some people need to take a pill and have a lay down by the looks of some of these comments. I thought the article was a little tounge-in-cheek to be honest and was not meant to create mass hysteria.

  • http://buzzbot2oh.blogspot.com BUZZBOT2.0h

    HOW about full web2.0 INTERACTION on each and EVERY website online!

    FOR all ages even lil kids absolutley FREE to use forever !
    NO not a another twitter or my space or face book cookie cutter social network a NEW technology that allows INTERACTION on everywebsite online !

    LIKE Amazon.com or Bestbuy.com even this site I can comment about and every one who enters thiswebsite URL in our BUZZBOT serach Engine and BUZZES it will see what I wrote !

    SEE my blog ! buzzbot2oh.blogspot.com

  • http://completepersonaldevelopment.com Self Helper

    Wi-Fi in a bomb shelter – Im sure there’s a way….lol
    all the biggies have great IT and I dare say any issue will be sorted out swiftly!
    I love twitter! its great for building relationships, establishing yourself in your niche and driving targeted traffic – Yay Twitter!
    Kymmy :)

  • http://www.cluey.com.au Copywriter

    Just when I was trying to figure out how it all works, too …

  • http://www.sytemaker.com/ sytemaker

    Twitpocalypse is upon us..????

    Give me a fucking break… The best comment is the one that likens this apparent phenomenon to the Y2K bug… Do we all remember the hype about that.?. barely I suspect… so why don’t we spend our time discussing real internet issues instead of hyping… (of course lets not forget that twitter will get a bit of public exposure even out of this negative, short, unimportant post, get it.?.)

  • http://twitter.com/OwenCarpet Carpet Twitter

    This too shall pass. It will a minor hiccup if that.

  • http://www.savewareworkspace.com MrSaveware

    How much tweet could a twit tweet on twitter if a twit tried to tweet on twitter? Answer: As much tweet’s as can fit in 140 characters. <2TWS

    ^140 chr. 2 tweets.

    Dun dis the tweet unless you paying for it. If not like Twitter maybe use Facebook or something else. We got lots of tools out there for this and that. I used my screw driver to open my door. It is what you make of it, be inventive.

    Now the question is, can you say the tweet 3 times fast without stumbling upon it? :)

    Programmers use 0 as one of the digits. So that's 1 more tweed ID. I better hurry and put up my tweet tongue twister up on twitter before somebody uses that 0 digit up.

  • http://www.sunilb.com PHP Tutorial

    Although this looks like the Y2k or the 2038 year issue… but I am sure that twitter engineers will come out of this.

    A suggestion could be to create a text field for ids… this could mean a lot of engineering work… but nonetheless – should work fine.

    Just hope Twitter never comes to an end… I am a twiddict :)

    http://www.twitter.com/sunilbhatia79 – Follow me for Technical & SEO News

  • McHugepenis

    Is it any wonder why all production and anything of value has been sent off shore? 99% of TwIDIOTS couldn’t tie their shoe laces unless they look up the instructions on the net. And then they would need somebody to do it for them.

  • http://www.inetsoft.com Mark Flaherty

    It’s already happening, spammers and other vendors are following me only to sell to me, and the volume of tweets has gone up so much that finding any of value is more and more a waste of time.

    It will survive as a teenager mode of communicating to a circle of friends, but business use will fade away, sometime this year.

    • http://www.controldatainc.com agency collection

      Twitter has gone crazy with sales adds. Our volume has doubled in just the last 30 days. As more people join and it becomes more of a problem twitter will become old hat.

      • http://z7.invisionfree.com/Kya_Dark_Lineage/ suikokyacross

        to me that’s bad and not really a problem, i only use twitter to advertise my forums.

  • Guest

    Hrmm, Y2K – Banking systems programmed in Cobol resetting interest amounts to the year 1900 VERSUS People who care about Aston Kutcher’s life? Oh yeah, there’s an equal metaphor. shyah, right.

    • http://www.cpasitesolutions.com Kenny

      Well said. I think we’ll manage to stumble on if Twitter catches a bug.

    • Kathy

      I was deep in the wilderness for 5 days enjoying parts of the world many will never see, for fear of leaving their screens. I was approached by a bear, a black bear, not that big of a deal, but I had bigger worries, feats and awe inspiring moments than the Twitter apacolypse, and TV turnover ;)
      But, I like Twitteriffic, so I’ll wait for it to be fixed. :)

  • http://www.byfchat.com Guest

    Just another y2k replay. I have a feeling there is no need to reserve food for this one!

  • http://www.smilesandstuff.com Melissa Canchola

    I believe they said they already fixed this problem. Why the hype?

    Do yourself a better thing that worrying about this and see the good person test: www.livingwaters.com/good

  • http://pakidesigner.com bilal

    very helpful news to read…keep the webpronews up

  • http://www.writtenbysumer.com Michelle Salater

    It’s amazing how something like the twitpocalypse can happen simply because the number of tweets has reached unimaginable numbers! Looks like Twitter might have to come out with Twitter Two….

  • Guest

    Twitter, twitter every where and not a twat to eat.

  • Tudor

    Not to sure about this subject, but feel it will be to my benefit to get a daily feeling of comfort with it.

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