Ah, the Fail Whale. If you have used Twitter even for moderate amounts, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. This whale image appears when Twitter’s can’t handle the overall tweet load. It is the bane of every true blue Tweet addict. While the fail whale is easy to hate, most Twitter fans hate another all-too-common Twitter villain as well-slow tweet speeds. Nothing irks senders and readers of the 140 character microblogging service more than waiting several minutes to see their tweets appear or their waiting for updates to appear on their feed. To be fair to Twitter, considering the huge amount of tweets the service processes, the mere fact that it can deliver its messages at spotty speeds is quite a feat. Well, it looks like die-hard tweet fans and newbies and casual users alike have some cause for celebration-Twitter’s speed has been improved. That’s right, pages load very quickly now. If you thought Twitter was nimble before, wait till you see it now.
What did the service’s engineers do to boost system speed?
According to the service’s Dan Webb, engineering manager, the service’s rendering has been moved back to the server instead of being done at the client (aka browser) level. This simple move has allowed Twitter to shave off a nice 20% off load times. If that isn’t cool enough, the change also addressed issues regarding load quality and performance differences among browsers.