Twitpocalypse! Run for your lives…

Posted on 13 June 2009

Tweetie Twitter ScreenshotJust before midnight last night @ 23:52 GMT (06-12-09), the total number of tweets on Twitter exceeded the value of a 32-bit signed integer.

Of course, as expected Twitter was not affected — after all, this is their game and they were well prepared. However, considering that the majority of Twitter users are using 3rd party tools to interact with Twitter, it is no surprise that problems have and will arise.

I awoke this morning and found zero new tweets to read as well as noticed the search functionality of my main desktop twitter client  (Tweetie) was dead. This must be a complete coincidence and nothing more right?

Now I was speculating, that it just must be a beautiful Saturday morning throughout our little planet and the twittersphere was out enjoying the day away from the more than 2,147,483,647 (maximum value for a 32-bit signed integer) total tweets which are now part of history.

Tweetie search… confirmed dead.

Loren Brichter from atebits (@atebits /, the creator of Tweetie confirmed this morning that Tweetie is in-fact suffering from twitpocalypse related injuries.

atebits: “Busted searches in Tweetie are Twitpocalypse-related. Hoping to find some Internet tonight so I can get an update out. Mea culpa.”

Tweetie’s broken search is a minor casualty, but I do speculate that this mornings eerie tweet silence is due to a few more Twitter clients dropping like flies in the face of integer overflows.

Visit for the current total of Twitter tweets. As of this post the total was running through 2,153,991,662 tweets and growing at an average of 131 tweets per second. — surely it should be higher than 131 tweets per second…

This new age Twitter crowd is calling this the Y2K of their time and the buzz surrounding the newly coined term ‘twitpocalypse’ is getting rather fervent. Well, if by Y2K of their kind, they mean an over-hyped and exaggerated nothing… then yes, I will agree and folks this is like Y2K all over again!

UPDATE: Twitterific for the iPhone and iPod Touch are confirmed to be failing due to the signed integer trouble as well. The desktop version of the application is unaffected (so it seems).

UPDATE: Nambu is reporting they have replies showing up next to every tweet. They admit they did not make a wise integer selection and will have it resolved as quickly as possible.

UPDATE: Tweetie for the desktop has been updated (1.2.2) and Tweetie for the iPhone has been updated and sent for App Store approval; Thanks @atebits!

For me, I think I will go enjoy this rare but beautiful Saturday with my family.

Oh, and I think I should probably drop a link and an invitation to follow me on Twitter: @loyalmoses


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