Double Dutch: Netherlands KOs Brazil & Twitter

It’s all good to talk about the big-picture goals for Twitter (as we did earlier this morning), but the company is still having problems keeping its service alive in the face of rising usage. Today, after the Netherlands upset Brazil in the World Cup, Twitter admitted to “a period of high unavailability” that appeared to last at least an hour.

Just before 9 a.m. PT, the Dutch kicked the favorites out of the tournament in a 2-1 victory after an own goal sent Brazil into a downward spiral.

Shortly afterwards, Twitter stopped loading, started throwing up “bad gateway” errors and only let through intermittent tweets. Twitter posted on its status blog that it was investigating “elevated error rates,” then updated to call the situation “unplanned downtime.” At 9:55 a.m. it was “recovering from a period of high unavailability.”

The World Cup has been hard on Twitter, with the ends of games setting all-time records for number of tweets per second. Last week at the final whistle of Japan beating Denmark 3-1, there were 3,283 tweets per second, besting the previous record of 3,085, when the Lakers beat the Celtics last month. It’s quite possible that Netherlands-Brazil tweeting set another record, that is if the outage didn’t prevent too many tweets from being sent.

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