Twitter Changes Incoming: Faster Speeds, No More Hashbang URLs

Martin Brinkmann
May 30, 2012
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Internet, Twitter

Twitter yesterday announced several major infrastructure changes that it would roll out to its site in the coming weeks on the Twitter Engineering blog. The changes are all aimed at optimizing speeds on Twitter, not only for displaying pages to users, but also when writing tweets.

According to Dan Webb, Twitter's Engineering Manager,  the company decided to move the rendering to the server which dropped the initial page loading time to 1/5th of what it has been on the old Twitter architecture. Users benefit from this approach as well as their browser's rendering performance now has less of an impact when it comes to these loading times.

There are a variety of options for improving the performance of our JavaScript, but we wanted to do even better. We took the execution of JavaScript completely out of our render path. By rendering our page content on the server and deferring all JavaScript execution until well after that content has been rendered, we've dropped the time to first Tweet to one-fifth of what it was.

In addition, permalink urls on Twitter are no longer using hasbangs (#!)  to reduce page loading times on pages that made use of them further.  The removal gets rid of a lengthy process that Webb describes in the blog post:

When you come to, we want you to see content as soon as possible. With hashbang URLs, the browser needs to download an HTML page, download and execute some JavaScript, recognize the hashbang path (which is only visible to the browser), then fetch and render the content for that URL. By removing the need to handle routing on the client, we remove many of these steps and reduce the time it takes for you to find out what’s happening on

twitter speed improvements

Twitter finally made changes to the JavaScript architecture on the site, by arranging all code as CommonJS modules delivered via AMD.

Twitter users will find that part of the architectural changes are already in place, for instance on the permalink pages, while other changes are going to be rolled out in the coming weeks. Are you noticing speed improvements when opening permalinks on Twitter?


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  1. Max said on May 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Great to heard this! I think the main reason why twitter was a slow is due to the spam and junk data which always creates a hudge trouble in network transmission.

    Otherwise slowness is not itself a problem but it also a unproductive use of the precious time that every people possess in his/her daily life. slowness of the network is also created from the malfunction of the software and hardware capability. sometimes the geniune hardware is mismatched with the software which is always required by twitter and similar type of web.

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