Twitter users face delays when managing their accounts

Key functions like adding and deleting contacts take a long time registering

Twitter is working to solve a problem that delays the completion of key account-management functions, like adding and deleting contacts.

The problem has been a recurrent one for Twitter users and has apparently gotten worse recently, so the company is implementing what it hopes will be a permanent solution.

However, the delays are expected to persist throughout Wednesday, until at least late in the day, according to a post on an official Twitter blog.

"We are making these changes as quickly as we can, however, inconsistencies with followers and following actions will persist until later in the day [Wednesday]," reads the post, using the Twitter terminology of "following" for adding users to contact lists.

Twitter has detailed the problem in more detail in its Known Issues Web site.

"Twitter is experiencing a delay with completing certain actions, such as following, un-following, blocking/un-blocking, favoriting/un-favoriting, or phone verification. Anything that pertains to a relationship between two people may be delayed. Our database is running a bit behind, which causes things to take longer to complete," the Known Issues entry reads.

While the problem remains outstanding, Twitter recommends that its users simply be patient, because the delayed actions will eventually register in the system and their accounts.

Started in March 2006, Twitter is a social network and micro-blogging service that has become wildly popular as a tool for individuals to provide updates about what they're doing and for organizations to promote their products and services via text entries no longer than 140 characters.

Twitter's Web site grew faster than any other in May when its unique visitors increased almost 1,500 percent year-on-year to 18.2 million, according to Nielsen Online.

People also spent significantly more time on Twitter, from an average of six minutes and 19 seconds in May 2008 to 17 minutes and 21 seconds last month.

Twitter's growing pains have been well documented, as the company was often criticized in 2007 and the first half of last year for its frequent system outages, a situation that has since improved.

Twitter ended 2008 with an embarrassing 84 hours of downtime, but got the situation more under control starting in July, Web monitoring company Pingdom said in a study released earlier this year.

Twitter recorded 84 percent of its downtime in the first half of the year and finished 2008 with uptime of 99.04 percent, the worst among the 15 social-networking services included in the Pingdom report.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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