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Why Twitter is Over Capacity ? The Truth

Have you seen your twitter page shows like this? “Twitter is over capacity. Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.” Are you frustrated? Don’t worry, you are not alone. This is one of the hottest discussions in web.

In Technical Term: You are getting this message because you are being redirected to Twitter’s 503 page (503 Service Unavailable page).

HTTP status code 503 (503 Service Unavailable) indicates that twitter Web server is currently unable to handle the request because of a temporary overload or maintenance of the server.

Why Twitter server is overloaded?

Sometimes twitter traffic is very rapidly and its Web server is unable to handle rapid amount of request in very short period of time (server temporary overload), hence you are getting “Twitter is over capacity. Too many tweets!….”.

So, why twitter server is overload? Twitter has become the SMS of the Internet. Because of its restricted 140 characters per post, It has become the hottest thing in social networking. Everyone from big companies, to  CEO’s (@ExecTweets) to youngsters’ uses Twitter. According to Forrester estimates around five million people use Twitter, this causes overload.

What is the Fix?

Ultimately Twitter has to fix it’s overload issue. Until then, Please wait a few minutes before trying.

Follow us at @thepicky on Twitter

{ 71 comments… add one }

  • Eva McIsaac August 27, 2010, 2:28 am

    but why don’t famous people get over capacity ? cos they can change their profile picture and background picture any time ! ?

  • Cindy October 4, 2010, 12:43 pm

    It is one thing to be over capacity – every once in a while – but at 6 AM?? and for almost a week?? I am to the point that I am going to try Google Buzz and reload Facebook… there is nothing LIKE twitter except when there is NO twitter AT ALL!! — then… one must see what other social networking options exist. THIS PROBLEM, I PREDICT, WILL BE THE DEATH OF TWITTER…. IT IS GOING TO DIE…. because they can’t solve an over load problem… and build greater capacity…. people will use other alternatives…

  • ken fitzpatrick October 12, 2010, 5:40 pm

    i joined to tonight and tried to change a pic and get the message “over capacity” wish i never bothered joining.

  • vivisidea October 15, 2010, 11:06 pm

    please, somebody take away the whale …

  • Raj November 2, 2010, 11:23 pm

    Thanks for the information , now we know why user see such similar messages on their website.
    I have a doubt , whether a website owner should take it as good sign as more traffic is coming or such messages hamper the website image showing inability to handle traffic.
    What would be your impression if user on your website see similar messages. 😛

  • kitty November 4, 2010, 7:39 am

    Oooooooh stupid twitter!!!!!!!! You’d think they’d realise that their site is quite popular now and would do something about this?!

  • Rune November 8, 2010, 5:35 pm

    I have had this at every single log-in for as long as I have used twitter…
    …it’s why I don’t use it anymore…

  • iQuackington December 25, 2010, 11:46 am

    “According to Forrester estimates around 5 people use Twitter, this causes overload.”

    A whole 5 people use twitter? Wow, wouldn’t have thought it was that many! 😛

  • James Woods January 9, 2011, 10:46 pm

    1 year later and it’s still the same.


  • Helen April 28, 2011, 8:27 am

    For weeks now i have been trying to change my twitter display picture and every attempt without fail twitter is over capacity!!! It’s so frustrating, sort it out Twitter!!

  • Zopa June 29, 2011, 3:36 pm

    The really frustrating thing is it does it over and over again when I access Twitter through the native website but I don’t have any connection issues from my iPad. Sure I’m not trying to change my pic on the iPad, but its just way too frustrating and its spoiling my enjoyment of Twitter.

  • Alexander M July 25, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I think they afford to fix this… You came up with an idea that has attracted millions… sooo REFINE IT!!! >.< I'm tired of seeing that whale…

  • Jon September 20, 2011, 11:28 am

    Twitter can go to hell with their shitty servers.

  • Frank October 14, 2011, 6:32 am

    Twitter is OVERHYPED. Simple. You can’t even contact a LIVE person for TECH support. Really, what kinda of company are you. R U running it in a phone booth or something? LOL

  • aahmad911 October 23, 2011, 1:51 pm

    it is over capacity because they are using key value stores with a ruby on rails front end. bad combo in large-scale you are bound to get over load. Ruby is not a scalable language it also has a flawed concurrency model. They need to focus on changing their frontend and backend model towards more loosely coupled component interactions with no single point of failure. Java backend, python or javascript frontend. They are still relying on a client-server type model which reduces scalability and increases single point of failures.

  • KUMATRON November 15, 2011, 6:27 am

    What is the Fix?

    Ultimately Twitter has to fix it’s overload issue. Until then, Please wait a few minutes before trying.


  • Dammit Dimwit December 31, 2011, 9:36 am

    Twitter is over capacity right now!!! I feel like CRYING :'( does it happen worldwide at the same time to everyone?

  • henk January 21, 2012, 9:32 am

    let me add an new frustration to this thread. I am trying to sign up but fail all the time due to overcapacity. TWITTER SUCKS BIG TIME!

  • henk January 21, 2012, 9:38 am

    Let me add this for SEO purposes so maybe it get picked up by Twitter employees:
    something is technically wrong
    facebook wins, twitter loses

  • What the Cock January 22, 2012, 4:40 pm

    This is unacceptable. Twitter is overloaded on a Sunday afternoon? What on Earth are people tweeting about? “No big news stories today…SOMETHING’S FISHY.”

  • stevie October 15, 2012, 7:05 pm

    its overloaded as i type this!!!

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