Twitter grumbles while Facebook slows up

Yesterday (August 6th) was the first occassion when both Twitter, Facebook and Google appear to have been simultaneously targeted by a DoS attack. Little is known as to why Twitter and Facebook were attacked in this way. Google understands what it has to do and to be fair has the infrastructure and in-house knowledge to deal with this type of attack.

In fact I’m surprised the DoS approach has fallen off some of the leading social website admin security radars full stop. Most security chiefs will admit that DoS serves little or no financial purpose for the attackers. That said most security gurus will know the cost incurred for downtime for any site being targeted can often be very high indeed. In the case of Facebook and Twitter, the latter went offline for several hours. Facebook and Google however appeared to be significantly less affected. The implications for Twitter are very serious indeed, especially as it wants to be a leading ‘communications standard’. Time will tell whether they have been ‘hurt’ and that they have ‘learnt’ from this experience.
Worth thinking about: Facebook has over 350m users – why are they not coming over to Twitter? Information overload or is it that they believe the service isn’t as good as Facebook? This latest news, may impact Twitter future growth – start thinking about the ‘Twittergate’ scandle last month when Twitter was hacked (confidential business documents were also stolen) and you can see why people are starting to wonder!
Twitter would have no doubt lost users with the downtime yesterday and it may deter potential future advertisers (in the event it modifies its’ business model in the future) if it doesn’t somehow significantly reduce the downtime. I’ve been a little perplexed as to why Twitter sometimes runs slowly – I’ve heard on the grapevine this is to do with the current server architecture they have. Either way they had $20m of investment earlier this year so maybe some of this should be used in some way to beef up their security and the obvious service shortcomings.
As to Twitter popularity – well there is some debate as to how many users Twitter actually has -45m at the last count but the true online daily figure is around approximately 2-3m. Not a high number if you compare with over 30m daily users for Facebook. The media appear to be hood winking us into believing it is going to be the next Facebook. Only you the ‘user’ can decide that.
What does the future hold for Twitter? No one really knows, but what I know is this – they need to improve their security and service architecture, otherwise they risk losing out to Facebook, which might take the opportunity to deliver a similar ‘dedicated microblogging broadcasting’ service to it’s members!
Safe surfing folks!
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