Earlier this month, Twitter traffic surged unexpectedly, breaking all previous records and, at its peak, registered 143,199 tweets in a single second. The reason, surprisingly, was not some high-stakes sports game or a disaster, during which people flock to Twitter for news coverage; instead, the airing of Castle in the Sky, an early anime movie from Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, on Japanese TV was responsible for Twitter’s best day ever.
Twitter VP of Platform Engineering Raffi Krikorian announced the news recently, boasting that despite the brief but massive rise in tweets per second, the site never lagged or went offline. That’s pretty impressive considering traffic increased about 25 times over, jumping from an average rate of 5,700 tweets per second all the way to 143,199.
In the past few years, Twitter’s engineers have redeveloped the social network from the ground up following the 2010 World Cup, where excited sports fans around the world flooded the site with constant posts, regularly knocking Twitter offline. Since then, however, the site has been revamped to handle pretty much anything, creating a reliable platform that’s also flexible enough to easily introduce new features.
Krikorian promises even more features in the near future, but one thing’s for sure: no one at Twitter is worried about the site going offline next year when the 2014 World Cup kicks off in Brazil.