WhatsApp rival Telegram scores big during Facebook downtime

Facebook suffered a six-hour global outage on Monday that resulted in many WhatsApp users adopting alternative messaging platforms.

WhatsApp rivals Signal and Telegram observed significant increases in signups for their respective services, with Telegram gaining more than 70 million new users.

Signal also had “millions of new people” join their messaging service.

During the Facebook outage, Signal indicated via Twitter that their messaging and call services did not suffer from the influx of new users.

Founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, wrote about the unexpected growth on his Telegram channel.

“The daily growth rate of Telegram exceeded the norm by an order of magnitude, and we welcomed over 70 million refugees from other platforms in one day,” he said.

“I am proud of how our team handled the unprecedented growth because Telegram continued to work flawlessly for the vast majority of our users.”

Durov indicated that some users in the Americas may have experienced a dip in speeds as “millions of users” in the region rushed to sign up for Telegram.

Facebook’s outage — which caused Instagram and WhatsApp to become unavailable — was due to a network configuration error.

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication,” said Facebook vice-president of infrastructure Santosh Janardhan.

“This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”

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WhatsApp rival Telegram scores big during Facebook downtime