Okay, my headline’s a bit facetious. While Twitter chief architect Blaine Cook‘s departure probably had nothing to do with the caching issue that rendered the service useless this weekend, his absence certainly did not help the team resolve the issue as quickly as they might have liked.
Cook tells Silicon Alley Insider that he left Twitter, the short-form messaging service, just over two weeks ago, but called it an “amicable change.” Mike Arrington of TechCrunch speculates that it might not have been so amicable given the issues with scaling Twitter has had over the past several months, but Cook notes that he is likely to stay on as an advisor to the service.
Twitter comes under a lot of scrutiny because it is so beloved — especially in the tech crowd. Frequent downtime causes frustration in some (this guy) who have come to use the service as a vital means of communication. There are larger ramifications as well when Twitter has issues. Many services and business are starting to use Twitter as a key component of what they do. When Twitter goes down, it hurts them.
Beyond this, Twitter is useful for spreading news about breaking stories and events (such as earthquakes), can be instrumental during times of crisis (such as the San Diego fires) and can be a great tool to meet up with people if you’re in a city or area that you don’t live in.
With the issues from this past weekend resolved, Twitter launched a special version of the service for Japan last night. That version will have advertisements, in a likely test of what is to come in this country.
We’ve contacted Twitter for a comment on Cook’s departure and its effect on this past weekend and will update if we hear back.