We are sorry. Many of you came to Twitter earlier today expecting, well, Twitter. Instead, between around 8:20am and 9:00am PT, users around the world got zilch from us. By about 10:25am PT, people who came to Twitter finally got what they expected: Twitter.
“Google has recently confirmed that it still has in its possession a small portion of … data collected by our Street View vehicles in the UK… Google apologises for this error.”
Two wildly different approaches here.
Twitter goes down for a good chunk of time. Millions of people scream bloody murder because they can’t tweet about Twitter being down. But it’s only for a short time. Twitter comes back up pretty quick and the team is working to make sure it doesn’t ever happen again. It was pure bad luck with both parallel systems going down.
On the flip side, Google’s Street View cars collected personal data (like emails) while mapping out Britain and other countries way back in 2010. Years later, it still has that data. Way bigger screwup than Twitter’s short downtime.
And when it comes to a response, you get two radically different approaches. Obviously, Twitter has won in this little head-to-head support match. But here’s why they won.
1) Say sorry first.
Right off the bat, they lead with “we are sorry”. It’s much more personable than “Google apologizes for this error” that we get from the lawyer. Saying the word “sorry” makes it seem like you really are.
2) Don’t let the lawyer write it.
They’ll say something dumb like Google’s lawyer with his apologies. The best part of Twitter’s response is that it’s readable and written by the VP from the Engineering team. I know he knows what he’s talking about because he leads the team. And I know he’s going to fix it to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
3) Fix it.
Twitter states up front what happened and how they’re going to fix it. Google’s response? Well, they said they’d fix it back in 2012 but I’m not holding my breath from that.
Again, Twitter obviously wins on this one. I’m still impressed by Twitter’s response and even found myself going back over it several times just to learn from it.
So what did you think of Twitter’s outage post?