Telegram says added 'record' 70 million users after Facebook outage

Newsweek - October 5, 2021





The instant messaging app Telegram added a record-breaking 70 million new users on Monday while Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram went offline for several hours, according to the company's CEO.

In a post on the app Tuesday, founder and chief executive of Telegram Pavel Durov called the influx of new users "refugees from other platforms."

"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. 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 wrote.

"I ask our existing users to say hi to their newly arrived friends, help them unpack, and let them know what we have in stock. Make sure they stick around and see why Telegram is light years ahead of the competition," he said while adding that "we won't fail you when others will."

However, Durov also said that users in the Americans may have experienced delays while using the app yesterday, as "millions of users from these continents rushed to sign up" at once.

Telegram, an app often popular with conservatives and far-right ideologies for its hands-off approach toward speech, recently topped 1 billion downloads and had 500 million monthly active users as of earlier this year, TechCrunch reported.

The messaging service on Tuesday was not the only one to claim they had an influx of new followers. Signal, which competes with both Telegram and WhatsApp, said in a statement that it gained "millions" of new users.

 On Monday, Facebook blamed the lengthy outage—which kept 3.5 billion users from accessing its services on WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger—on a faulty configuration change. According to the website monitor service Downdetector, the outage lasted around six hours and affected users and companies across the globe.

In a statement on Monday, Facebook responded to the issue by stating: "To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today's outage across our platforms. We've been working as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are now back up and running."

The issue knocked Facebook shares by around 4.9 percent, wiping over $40 billion off the value of the company. The latest incident came after the social media giant was already under fire over a series of leaked documents that allege Facebook is aware its platforms spread hate, violence, and misinformation while attempting to hide the evidence.

When reached for an additional comment Tuesday, a Facebook spokesperson pointed Newsweek to the company's statement explaining the widespread outage.



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