A lot of applications have downtime or otherwise fail at times. Twitter is certainly one of them, including the notorious Fail Whale.
But tonight I noticed them owning things.
I tried to share a tweet. It didn’t go through. Some people would show some variation of one of the below errors.
Instead, this is what Twitter did:
“Sorry! We did something wrong. Try sending your Tweet again in a minute.” X
1. Apologize. Right away. Unequivocally. Cheerfully.
It’s the first thing said. They say it with an exclamation mark. Done.
2. “Mea Culpa” - It’s your fault. Don’t blame me (your users).
They clearly say: We did something wrong. They don’t twist words, giving the passive tense an even worse bad name with something like “Something went wrong.” or “There was an error (with something you did)”.
3. Clear instructions on what to do next.
They don’t waste time in saying what you should do next. Wait a minute and give it a go. They also underpromise and overdeliver because it almost always is working right after this error happens; not a minute or more, but just a sec.
Nice job, Twitter. Now just keep the fail whale in the water and off my screen, and we’re good to go. And let me Quote Tweets from the web and not just mobile, too.