Twitter's Fail Whale goes belly up - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Twitter's Fail Whale goes belly up

Early Twitter adapters were accustomed to seeing the Fail Whale whenever web traffic overwhelmed the site. (Source: Twitter/MGN photos) Early Twitter adapters were accustomed to seeing the Fail Whale whenever web traffic overwhelmed the site. (Source: Twitter/MGN photos)
Now whenever Twitter fails, users will see robots instead of the iconic Fail Whale. (Source: Twitter/MGN photos) Now whenever Twitter fails, users will see robots instead of the iconic Fail Whale. (Source: Twitter/MGN photos)
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(RNN) – Twitter has dispatched the iconic Twitter Fail Whale, which plagued users anytime the social media site experienced overwhelming demand or underwent routine maintenance.

Christopher Fry, senior vice president of engineering, announced in an interview with Wired that the whale was officially made extinct this summer. Now whenever Twitter fails, users see robots instead.

The original Fail Whale was created by Australian artist Yiying Lu, who said she created it as a way of expressing how much she misses her friends, according to Time.

She submitted the illustration to istockphoto.com, where Twitter picked it up as a way of amusing its users attempting, and failing, to access the site.

The Fail Whale was often seen during the site's early days, when a growth in demand outpaced the architecture.

Propelled by failure, the whale loomed large in pop culture, even making its way onto a tongue-twisting mock beer graphic - Fail Whale Pale Ale.

The social media network has become more stable lately, making error screens rare, Fry claimed in his Wired interview.

"It had a long history, and some of our users feel very connected to it. But in the end, it did represent a time when I don't think we lived up to what the world needed Twitter to be," he noted.

Twitter had its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 7 with stock priced at $26 per share, CNN reported. At the end of last week, its stock was trading at $41.57, according to The Motley Fool.

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