Twitter's highly anticipated initial public offering, expected sometime within the next two or three weeks, could probably shut down the New York Stock Exchange, much the same way Facebook did. But the NYSE learned from its mistake and made sure to run some advanced tests. Hundreds of fictional trades pumped through the system, pushing it to its limits in an effort to avoid the catastrophe caused by the Facebook IPO. Reuters reports the NYSE ran its first ever "simulated IPO" on Saturday, while performing regular weekend maintenance, to test the possible effects caused by a Twitter IPO:
The NYSE was testing mainly for two things: To see if its systems could handle the amount of message traffic that might be generated by the IPO; and to make sure that once the IPO took place any firms that placed orders would promptly receive the reports telling them that their orders had been executed.
The NYSE's tests went off without a hitch. The test was "successful," according to a NYSE Euronext statement obtained by the Wall Street Journal. “We are being very methodical in our planning for Twitter’s IPO, and are working together with the industry to ensure a world class experience for Twitter, retail investors and all market participants,” the statement said.
When Facebook hit the market for the first time, the flood of buy orders shut down NASDAQ's system for hours, causing millions in losses for the stock exchange and buyers on the floor. Blame was passed around, but ultimately NASDAQ was forced to recuperate millions in losses.