Twitter ranks well below most other social networks in terms of web performance, according to new numbers from SmartBear’s AlertSite.
However, given the massive amount of traffic that Twitter has seen in recent months compared to a few years ago, the site does manage to come close to industry standards – and the fail whale is just a thing of the past.
When measuring response time – how long a website takes to load – Twitter is below average. It takes, on average, 2.73 seconds for Twitter.com to load. Compare this to Facebook’s first-place 0.73 seconds and Twitter seems abysmally far behind.
However, Twitter is still faster than MySpace, which takes 5.09 seconds to load, and it was only 0.44 seconds slower than the industry average.
SmartBear’s AlertSite also examined the overall availability of social networks, and Twitter fared better on this count. Coming in fourth place behind YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter was available 99.86 percent of the time. This was above the benchmark average of 99.69 percent.
Now, Twitter placed fourth on both of these measures of web performance for the third quarter of this year, but that doesn’t mean that the site should be crossed off as unreliable.
On the contrary, SmartBear’s AlertSite note that Twitter had to deal with some pretty hefty traffic this quarter, more so than it has ever had in the past. Events like the East Coast earthquake on August 23rd and Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement saw record-breaking tweets-per-second speed through the site – and didn’t cause any downtime.
Normally, Twitter would have been over capacity with events like these (particularly Beyonce’s announcement, which set a new tweets-per-second record of 8,868), and users would have had to deal with the fail whale. Instead, Twitter remained up, albeit taking a little longer to load than other networks.
It looks like Twitter’s focus on building its engineering team is paying off.
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