Telegram added over 70 mn new users during Facebook outage

Messaging app Telegram has gained over 70 million new users during Monday’s Facebook  outage, as people worldwide were left without key messaging services for nearly six hours.
Telegram on smartphoneFacebook, the #1 social media site, has blamed its outage, which kept its 3.5 billion users from accessing services such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, on a faulty configuration change in a router setting.

“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,” Telegram founder Pavel Durov wrote on his Telegram channel.

Durov said some users in the Americas may have experienced slower speeds as millions rushed to sign up at the same time, but that the service worked as usual for the majority.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said the outage demonstrated the repercussions of relying on just a few big players and underscored the need for more rivals.

Russia said the incident showed Moscow was right to develop its own sovereign internet platforms and social networks.

WhatsApp’s nearly six-hour long outage on Monday hit trading of assets from cryptocurrencies to Russian oil, market players said, although a quick shift to alternative platforms such as Telegram limited severe disruption.

Three UK, a leading telecom operator, saw a huge spike in SMS – more than the last 3 New Year’s Eves, which is traditionally the busiest time for text.

“Our network saw a huge spike in SMS traffic as customers switched from apps to more traditional means and our network continued to support them. Between 8 and 9pm we carried more SMS than the last 3 New Year’s Eves – traditionally the busiest time for text. MMS increased by almost 500 percent compared to last Monday as people continued to share their selfies with friends and family,” Carlo Melis, Chief Network Officer at Three UK, said.