Twitter goes down for an hour globally with Middle East users unable to connect

Twitter was down on Thursday evening across the world, including in the Middle East, US and the UK. (AP/File Photo)
Updated 12 July 2019
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Twitter goes down for an hour globally with Middle East users unable to connect

  • Twitter released a statement confirming that it was investigating the issue
  • Other channels like Facebook and Instagram were working during the outage

LONDON: Twitter was down on Thursday evening across the world, including in the Middle East, US and the UK, as users were unable to access the social media channel on web and mobile devices.

The company released a statement saying it was investigating why users were unable to connect. After roughly an hour's down time, the channel was back up and running.

When contacted by Arab News, the firm's Middle East head of communications sent a statement which read: "Twitter is back up for some people, and we're working to make sure our service is available to everyone as quickly as possible. The interruption was due to an internal system change, which we're now fixing. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and should be at 100% soon."

The company's original statement did not say how widespread the outage was, but the disruption appeared to be affecting both web and mobile app users. 

Outages were widespread in Twitter's early years, so much so that a cartoon "fail whale" the company would put up during outages came to symbolize Twitter almost as much as its little blue bird icon. The whale was retired in 2013, largely because Twitter didn't want to be associated with what it represented any more. After all, outages had become far less common.

This time, Twitter's home page reads in part, "Something is technically wrong. Thanks for noticing."


Netflix to roll out cheaper mobile-only plan for India

Updated 18 July 2019
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Netflix to roll out cheaper mobile-only plan for India

  • India is among the last big growth markets for the company
  • Netflix faces competition from Amazon’s Prime Video and Walt Disney Co’s Hotstar
Netflix said on Wednesday it would roll out a lower-priced mobile-only plan in India within the next three months to tap into a price-sensitive market at a time the streaming company is losing customers in its home turf.
India is among the last big growth markets for the company, where it faces competition from Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video and Hotstar, a video streaming platform owned by Walt Disney Co’s India unit.
Netflix lost US streaming customers for the first time in eight years on Wednesday, when it posted quarterly results. It also missed targets for new subscribers overseas.
“India is a mobile-first nation, where many first-time users are experiencing the Internet on their phones. In such a scenario, a mobile-only package makes sense to target new users,” said Tarun Pathak, analyst at Counterpoint Research.
The creator of “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” said in March that it was testing a 250-rupee ($3.63) monthly subscription for mobile devices in India, where data plans are among the cheapest in the world.
The country figures prominently in Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings’ global expansion plans.
“We believe this plan, which will launch in the third quarter, will be an effective way to introduce a larger number of people in India to Netflix and to further expand our business,” the company said in a letter to investors released late on Wednesday.
Netflix currently offers three monthly plans in India, priced between 500 rupees ($7.27) and 800 rupees $11.63).
It has created a niche following in the country by launching local original shows like the thriller “Sacred Games” and dystopian tale “Leila,” which feature popular Bollywood actors.
The second season of “Sacred Games” is set to release in August.
In contrast, Hotstar, which also offers content from AT&T Inc’s HBO and also streams live sports, charges 299 rupees ($4.35) per month. Amazon bundles its video and music streaming services with its Prime membership.
“We’ve been seeing nice steady increases in engagement with our Indian viewers that we think we can keep building on. Growth in that country is a marathon, so we’re in it for the long haul,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said.