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Twitter crashed last night due to more than 16,000 New Year tweets a second

Twitter ground to a halt on the last day of 2011 as it was overloaded with New Year messages.

In UK, the social network crashed at about 3:00 p.m. and was out of action for more than an hour.

The moment coincided with midnight celebrations in Japan when revelers were sending a record 16,197 tweets per second.

The overload meant no one could post new messages or read existing ones. Instead, frustrated users were greeted with the error message: “Twitter is over capacity.”

Twitter returned to working order but then stopped on several other occasions, prompting speculation that it was being hit by the arrival of New Year in different parts of the world.

One user tweeted: “It’s amazing how three words can ruin my day! Twitter over capacity.”

The meltdown happened as the world welcomed in 2012, a year of historic importance for Britain, with the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee set to be defining moments.

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