Thousands of shoppers experienced chaos in Friday, as Sainsbury’s computerized payment system ran into a major glitch. The system refused to accept debit and credit cards during the biggest shopping day of the week. This is typical when a company’s Electronic Fund Transfer or EFT system goes down. The interesting part of the whole afternoon was not that the computer payment system went down, but how everyone else in the UK heard about it – by people sending messages through Twitter.
Twitter, the micro blogging social network site, has become the primary information sending and receiving vehicle available for people with the use of a smartphone or laptop.
The days when a newspaper or even television was the first choice for news is over. Twitter is now the source to find out what news is happening, not just loudly, but globally.
Twitter gives the user the ability to type in 140 characters messages which simply answers the question, “What’s happening?”
The messages, called Tweets, are then readable by anyone with an account or, by people who “follow” you. It is a much different resource than Facebook for example, as Twitter is in constant motion and never static. If none of your Facebook friends are active then you have no information, and if your Facebook friends are unaware of an event then you do not have access to the information. However, Twitter news is available to anyone on Twitter since most users do not feel Twitter requires as much security and privacy coverage.
Some tweets from Friday’s debacle at Sainsbury’s included:
“Massive computer glitch in Sainsbury’s today. All the credit card machines stopped working, and then the ATM went down!”
“Saturday afternoon in Sainsbury’s. All card payments down. Chaos!”
“Payments glitch hits Sainsbury’s. A return to the dark ages as Sainsbury’s are only able to take cash.”
Twitter continues to be one of the fastest growing internet resources, for the latest breaking news stories of all types.