By Sheila Dang
(Reuters) -Twitter crashed repeatedly on Wednesday during a highly anticipated live audio chat between Elon Musk, Twitter's owner, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, hampering the politician's announcement he is running for the Republican presidential nomination.
Since Musk took over the social media platform in October, he has laid off thousands of employees including many engineers who were responsible for fixing software bugs.
Current and former Twitter employees previously told Reuters the steep layoffs would put the platform at risk of crashing during times of high traffic.
"We've got so many people here that I think we are kind of melting the servers, which is a good sign," said David Sacks, a venture capitalist and close friend of Musk, while attempting to start the event on Wednesday.
Musk attributed the problems to the number of listeners and his large Twitter following.
About 678,000 people tuned in to listen as Twitter suffered repeated crashes.
The Spaces session eventually resumed, reaching about 304,000 listeners.
About 3 million people listened to Musk's interview with the BBC on Twitter Spaces last month.
"Failure to Launch", "Crashed" and #DeSaster were among the trending Twitter topics in the U.S. during the chat session.
Twitter outages have been more numerous under Musk's ownership. In March, thousands of users reported problems accessing links posted on the platform.
Internet observatory NetBlocks said the March incident was Twitter's sixth major outage since the year began, compared with three in the same period last year.
In between crashes on Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden poked fun at the shaky rollout of DeSantis' presidential bid by tweeting out a fundraising appeal: "This link works."
(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Leslie Adler, Lisa Shumaker and Lincoln Feast)