The world record for Twitter activity will stay in Japan for the foreseeable future.
Twitter announced late Friday that, back on August 3rd, Japanese Twitter users hit a peak of 143,199 tweets per second (TPS) during a showing of a movie called Castle in the Sky. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that same movie set the previous TPS record at 25,088 back in 2011.
This recent record, Twitter says, involved a spike of about 25 times higher than normal activity.
Chances are pretty good that most of you reading this article didn’t even notice the new record set two weeks ago, and Twitter is perfectly fine with that.
In the blog post announcing the new record, Twitter also offers a lengthy and programmer-friendly explanation of how the company has beefed up its infrastructure to be able to handle activity spikes like this while avoiding the infamous “fail whale” that plagued Twitter years ago.
The post describes a complete overhaul of Twitter’s backend. I’ll spare you my pedestrian attempt at recapping the nuts and bolts, but this summary of what it means now for Twitter is the bottom line:
Our systems and our engineering team now enable us to launch new features faster and in parallel. We can dedicate different teams to work on improvements simultaneously and have minimal logjams for when those features collide. Services can be launched and deployed independently from each other (in the last week, for example, we had more than 50 deploys across all Twitter services), and we can defer putting everything together until we’re ready to make a new build for iOS or Android.
In other words, don’t expect to see the fail whale too much anymore. And don’t be surprised the next time another tweets-per-second record gets set and you don’t even notice. That’s exactly how Twitter wants it to be.