Twitter users around the world started reporting difficulties in accessing the site from around 5pm BST yesterday.
Along with the online site, mobile Twitter clients were also not displaying tweets. It is thought that the outage affected the service for around two hours while Twitter's engineers fixed the issues.
In a blog post yesterday, Twitter's vice president of engineering Mazen Rawashdeh offered his "sincere apologies" to users and denied that the site had been hacked.
"We immediately began to investigate the issue and found that there was a cascading bug in one of our infrastructure components," he wrote.
"This wasn't due to a hack or our new office or Euro 2012 or GIF avatars, as some have speculated."
He added: "A 'cascading bug' is a bug with an effect that isn't confined to a particular software element, but rather its effect 'cascades' into other elements as well.
"One of the characteristics of such a bug is that it can have a significant impact on all users, worldwide, which was the case today.
"As soon as we discovered it, we took corrective actions, which included rolling back to a previous stable version of Twitter."
Rawashdeh said that Twitter began recovery at around 10.10am PDT [6.10pm BST], but dropped again at around 10.40am PDT [6.40pm BST], before reaching full recovery at 11.08am PDT [7.08pm BST].
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Twitter was famed for its unreliability in the early years of operation, regularly becoming overloaded in peak times of usage.
The last major UK crash was on New Year's Day 2012 when thousands of people attempted to post celebratory messages at the same time.
After the bug was resolved yesterday, the hashtag #whiletwitterwasdown was trending on Twitter overnight.
Twitter user Arghya Roychowdhury (@arghya_rc) tweeted: "= OMG..twitter was down....closest thing to living without oxygen for most of us...."
Rawashdeh said that the company is "conducting a comprehensive review" of the cascading bug incident to "ensure that we can avoid this chain of events in the future".
"For the past six months, we've enjoyed our highest marks for site reliability and stability ever: at least 99.96% and often 99.99%," he said.
"In simpler terms, this means that in an average 24-hour period, twitter.com has been stable and available to everyone for roughly 23 hours, 59 minutes and 40-ish seconds. Not today though.
"We know how critical Twitter has become for you - for many of us. Every day, we bring people closer to their heroes, causes, political movements, and much more.
"It's imperative that we remain available around the world, and today we stumbled. For that we offer our most sincere apologies and hope you'll be able to breathe easier now."