Telegram Gains Over 70 Million New Users During Facebook Outage

Amid an outage that made Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp inaccessible for nearly six hours, messaging app Telegram gained more than 70 million users as people around the world could not use key messaging services during the incident. This is according to Telegram's founder Pavel Durov, who also stated that the daily growth rate of the messaging app shot up during the outage.

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"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," wrote Durov on his Telegram channel.

Durov also said that users in the Americas might have noticed slower speeds as millions of people rushed to sign up for Telegram, but that the app worked normally for the majority.

On 4 October 2021, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were down in most parts of the world, preventing tens of millions of users from using the social media and communication platforms. Oculus, the technology company's virtual reality arm, was also affected as users were unable to access social features and install new games.

According to Santosh Janardhan, Vice President of Infrastructure at Facebook, the outage was caused by a configuration change.

Credit: Dado Ruvic via Reuters

"Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt," wrote Janardhan in a statement.

This instance is the worst outage for Facebook since March 2019 when all of the technology firm's most popular apps were offline for over 24 hours. These incidents negatively impacted small businesses and content creators who depend on Facebook's services to make a living.

On behalf of the social media giant, Janardhan apologised for the inconvenience that users experienced due to the recent outage.

"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," said Janardhan.


Written by Sophia Lopez


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