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Here's how much Twitter has grown in the past 20 months

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castle in the sky (studio ghibli credit(
castle in the sky (studio ghibli credit(

One of Japan's favorite anime traditions has once again broken Twitter's record for most simultaneous tweets on a single topic. The August 3rd screening of Hayao Miyazaki's Laputa: Castle in the Sky drew in 143,199 tweets per second at its peak — which is a carefully coordinated outcry of "Balse!" in sync with the film's climactic scene. It's a remarkable cultural phenomenon, to be sure, but it's also a great illustration of Twitter's exponential growth: back in December 2011, the same event set Twitter's record at 25,088 tweets per second.

Twitter's Raffi Krikorian has taken to the company's blog to both celebrate the new record and explain how it was that the new spike from Castle in the Sky didn't bring the network down. For his team, Twitter's vulnerability to popular global events was most exposed during the 2010 football World Cup, during which period the famed fail whale graphic appeared too often for Twitter's liking. The original architecture underpinning Twitter was too monolithic, too inflexible, and too reliant on the addition of extra machines to handle the growing traffic. That was no way to prepare for a future of 143,000 tweets a second, so Raffi and his platform engineering team set to work on redesigning Twitter's codebase.

'Sharknado' could only dream of this

For the full breakdown of how Twitter moved to a more parallelized engineering workflow, hit the source link below, or if you'd like to learn more about Castle in the Sky, check out the Studio Ghibli website.