PEJ New Media Index: Twitter Troubles are the Top Topic for Tweeters

Aug 13, 2009

At approximately 9:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, August 6, the popular social networking Web site Twitter was shut down for about two hours while other sites, such as Facebook and LiveJournal, experienced glitches of their own.

To many regular users of Twitter, the outage was more than an inconvenience.

"You know how you pat your pockets for your cell phone and your keys? Well it's that same kind of phantom [limb] with Twitter," 24-year-old Christina Cimino told CNN.com. "It's like, ‘I can't update! I can't update!' It's just one of those bugs that gets in you...It feels like a lifeline for me."

The varied responses of many Twitter users after the service was restored made the incident the most linked-to news subject last week. From August 3-7, more than a third (35%) of the top news-related links were to stories about the outage according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. And the story didn't even emerge until late in the week. But on Friday morning, fully 73% of top Twitter news links were to stories about the outage, according to the tracking site Tweetmeme.com.

Read the full report Twitter Troubles are the Top Topic for Tweeters on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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