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Telegram gains record 70 million new users in one day owing to Facebook outage

WhatsApp rivals Telegram and Signal saw millions of new user registrations owing to the outage, but will these users persist?

“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 and CEO Pavel Durov said on Tuesday.

To put the number in perspective: 70 million new users is an increase of nearly 15 percent compared to the 500 million monthly active users the messaging app had as of January this year. Secure messaging app Signal also tweeted that millions of new people joined the app following the outage.

Telegram and Signal experienced this sudden spike in user registration on October 4 after Facebook’s family of products — including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger —  went offline for nearly six hours in an unprecedented outage affecting billions of users. According to outage-tracking site Downdetector, this was the largest outage the company saw with over 14 million problem reports from all over the globe.

Read: What caused the Facebook outage?

App-statistics tracker SensorTower reported that Facebook’s rival apps experienced a surge in time spent owing to the outage. Snapchat saw time spent climbing 23 percent compared to the same day last week, while Twitter and TikTok saw an 11 percent and 2 percent bump respectively.

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As for the messaging apps, time spent in Signal grew 15 percent while Telegram saw time spent climb 18 percent week-over-week. In terms of app installs, “Signal’s installs grew nearly 12 times from 74,000 worldwide on October 3 to 881,000 on the following day,” SensorTower estimated.

“However, this isn’t necessarily an indication of a permanent shift in user behavior. Facebook’s apps have proven to be resilient in the past, with WhatsApp’s monthly active users remaining steady even despite the backlash earlier this year to its new privacy policy,” SensorTower noted.

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