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Twitter IDpocalypse: User IDs Going To Run Out In 2078

In a Twitter announcement earlier this week, developer advocate Arne Roomann-Kurrik told programmers who build apps on top of the service that the company is moving from 32-bit to 64-bit user IDs.

As SFGate picked up on, hidden in the announcement’s web address was a jokey label: Roomann-Kurrik called the situation a “Twitter user IDpocalypse.”

Hit the panic button: turns out that Twitter will run out of numbers in 2078.

Let’s dive into this:

Twitter already moved to 64-bit IDs for tweets back in 2009, and it’s essentially adopting the same system, which is called Snowflake, for assigning IDs to users now.

That system is designed around an “epoch” of 69 years, according to its specs.

So what happens in 2078 when the Twitter epoch expires, Mayan-calendar-style?

Here’s what Roomann-Kurrik had to say about it:

Well, we’ve got 65 years to worry. Might as well carpe diem while we can.

(Image from Shutterstock)

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