Micro-blogging site Twitter experienced record traffic as the results of the 2012 US Presidential election were announced on Tuesday night, but the service never faltered despite the increased load – something Twitter engineers credit to the company's move from Ruby to Java for its backend software.
According to a blog post by Mazen Rawashdeh, Twitter's VP of infrastructure operations engineering, Twitter users posted an average of 9,965 messages per second between the hours of 8:11pm and 9:11pm Pacific Time.
During a single second at 8:20pm, Twitter users produced 15,107 new posts, Rawashdeh writes, and during the peak traffic period of the evening they generated 874,560 posts in a single minute.
Such numbers are unusual for Twitter, Rawashdeh says, and they represent an evolution in how customers use the service. While in the past Twitter has experienced brief traffic spikes to mark particular events, such as New Year's Eve or the close of a sporting event, this was the first time such heavy traffic lasted for such a sustained period. It was also the highest volume of traffic during an election since Twitter launched.
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