The Twitpocalypse Is Upon Us

    June 16, 2009

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?