Signal, Telegram mint millions of new users on Facebook outage

Oct 5, 2021: Signal and Telegram, two private messenger apps, saw downloads and user sign-ups soar during the extended downtime of Facebook Inc.’s network of apps and services.

Millions of new users joined the Edward Snowden-endorsed Signal on Monday, it said on Twitter. Telegram, whose functionality closely mirrors that of WhatsApp, surged 55 places to top the U.S. iPhone download chart, according to Sensor Tower.

Facebook suffered a six-hour shutdown that spread to its WhatsApp Messenger, the main social network and photo-sharing app Instagram, shutting down its 2.7 billion global users. The situation left some of the company’s employees helpless and publicly apologized to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The loss of Facebook turned into an advantage for other social media sites. Twitter Inc.’s network remained online, with CEO Jack Dorsey tweeting that he’s offering signal support as an alternative to the WhatsApp, and that Snowden is urging his followers to stay away from the Facebook-owned app.

People were talking about the closure in thousands of rooms at the audio chat app Clubhouse, a service spokesman said, adding that all of its key metrics had increased.

Attention to privacy in Signal’s policy states that it should not collect any data on its users and thus avoid situations where governments pressurize them to disclose personally identifiable information. This has made it a favorite for secure communication.

Telegram has historically added millions of users in the wake of the massive WhatsApp shutdown.

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