Fail Whale

What Does Fail Whale Mean?

The fail whale is a graphic that appears when the social networking website is experiencing technical difficulties. The image is of a whale being lifted by 8 orange birds and was created by Yiying Lu.


The fail whale has become somewhat of an Internet meme in itself and is imitated both on and off the Web. In the early days, Twitter got so popular, so fast, that seeing the fail whale was a common occurence. The success of Twitter, in despite of its technical snafus, is part of the popularity of the fail whale.

Techopedia Explains Fail Whale

Here is the fail whale in all its glory:

Lifting a Dreamer by Yiying Lu aka Twitter fail whale


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…