Twitter Switches to 64-Bit IDs Enough for 9 Billion Billion Users, Avoids Twitpocalypse II

2013-Jan-29 | Tags: 32to64

Start64!Those of us old enough to remember the Twitpocalypse of 2009 know how close Twitter came to utter destruction. Not that close, it turned out. Surprisingly, it seems that bloggers and journalists alike made it sound like a much bigger problem than it was, much like the Y2K bug before it.

The problem was that tweet IDs used 32-bit numbers, i.e. only two billion or so tweets could be tracked. It may have seemed an unfathomable number when Twitter was created, but the site quickly grew out of it.

As the number of tweets quickly approached the maximum number of tweets that could be tracked, there was a risk of it all coming crumbling down.

But Twitter cunningly switched to 64-bit tweet IDs giving it a pool of nine billion billion tweets, which should be enough to carry us till the next Japanese New Year or Beyonce baby.

Now, perhaps to avoid the Return of the Twitpocalypse, Twitter is making the same changes to the user IDs and switching over to 64-bit IDs.