Twitter was broken due to an API issue (updated)
TweetDeck, images and links were all affected for several minutes.
Links and images were completely busted on Twitter for a spell on Monday across the company's website and mobile apps. Clicking on a link brought up an error message that read "Your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint, please see https://developer.twitter.com/en/docs/twitter-api for more information." As it happens, that link was broken for a while. A similar error message was appearing for some users when they tried to access TweetDeck.
Service gradually seemed to be coming back as of 12:43PM ET. Links seem to be working once again and images are popping back up in the timeline. TweetDeck is also back online.
Twitter's last major outage was less than a week ago, just days after the company laid off dozens more employees. Twitter no longer has a communications department that can be contacted for comment. Oddly, enough, its API status page has a message reading "all systems operational."
"Some parts of Twitter may not be working as expected right now. We made an internal change that had some unintended consequences," Twitter managed to share on its Support account at 12:19PM ET. "We’re working on this now and will share an update when it’s fixed." It's currently not possible to embed the tweet because of the busted API.
Twitter is in the midst of restricting its APIs, the tools that developers use to hook into the platform. The company said in early February that it would start charging for access to APIs.
Meanwhile, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has responded to the outage. "This platform is so brittle (sigh)," he wrote. "Will be fixed shortly." He later added that "a small API change had massive ramifications. The code stack is extremely brittle for no good reason. Will ultimately need a complete rewrite."
Many users and insiders feared that, after Musk took over Twitter in October and swiftly fired thousands of employees and contractors, the platform would fall apart. Musk infamously demanded that to commit to an "extremely hardcore" vision where they'd work for “long hours at high intensity" or leave the company. It's estimated that around 1,200 workers opted not to make the pledge, instead choosing to walk away from Twitter with the promise of three months' severance pay.
Between Musk assuming control of Twitter and late January, it's believed that some 80 percent of full-time workers left the company. Shortly after the mass departures started, one former employee told The Washington Post that they knew of six critical systems that "no longer have any engineers." They added that Twitter would "continue to coast until it runs into something, and then it will stop." While many expected the World Cup would be the straw the broke the camel's back, it seems like a regular Monday morning was enough to tip Twitter over the edge.
Update 3/6 1:54PM ET: Added more comments from Musk.