It wasn't just you - on Monday, Twitter was suffering from some "service disruption" largely due to the fact that it was Inauguration Day 2013 for President Barack Obama and the tweeting traffic was heavy. And while the outage didn't affect all Twitter account users, so long as you could tweet from the iOS apps available on iPhones and iPads, Twitter via Google Chrome and Firefox browsers was inaccessible for several hours.
While engineers at Twitter worked as quickly as they could to get the site back up and functioning again, the time-out was enough to make me consider what features Twitter could, and should, be revamping to take 2013 by storm.
1) Courtesy Messages for Outages
The service disruption on Monday left Twitter users everywhere hanging on the hope that the site would be back up and running on browsers soon, with little more to do in the meantime but check their phones for updates and hit the refresh button every now and then. Just as airlines offer the ability to receive flight time changes and information via text messages or phone calls, a similar method should be employed on Twitter. Courtesy messages, complete with an estimated time clock on how long it may be before the site is back up, should be emailed or texted to all Twitter users in the event of an outage occurring. It may be some time before the site does go back up, but it's comforting to know that the problem is being worked on and hey, it's not just you or your computer!
2) Increase Tweet Character Limit to 150
It's the happy medium between the original tweet character limit (140) and the Twitter bio (160). Since it was launched in 2006, I think Twitter deserves the upgrade, which may even lead to more organic tweets sent out on an even quicker basis - with users struggling much less to get around condensing their meatier tweets to the bare bones.
3) Enable Easier Scrolling Techniques
For anyone who follows or has a following base that falls well into the four digits, it can be difficult to scroll through the list in an effort to clean it out or find new people to follow. The same thing goes for your own tweets - should you want to categorize them, there is no tagging system available. In 2013, Twitter should create and enable easier scrolling and editing techniques. They may even want to borrow a page from Tumblr's "mass post editor" book, which displays by month everything you post and allows you to categorize, delete, or change the tags on said postings.
4) Let's See Some More Trending Topics, Please!
The trending topics are typically tailored to where you are geographically and reflect the big stories in your area. But what if you'd rather see trending topics from pretty much everywhere - a little melting pot in the sidebar on your Twitter feed? The ability to get a brief "global" view of trends would be much more beneficial and provoke more stirring conversation across the board than say, #TellMeWhy, as a trending topic would.