Skip to main content

Facebook’s massive outage saw millions sign up for rival apps

When Facebook users had finished mocking the company over its calamitous global outage on Monday, October 4, many apparently flocked to rival apps in order to get back in touch with friends and family.

The six-hour outage — caused by configuration changes to Facebook’s routers that prevented its computer systems from communicating in the usual way — also impacted Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, which Facebook also operates.

With billions of people affected, tens of millions of users made a beeline for rival messaging app Telegram, according to Pavel Durov, the startup’s CEO and founder.

“Yesterday Telegram experienced a record increase in user registration and activity,” Pavel wrote in an online post, claiming that a staggering 70 million people signed up in a matter of hours.

Pavel added that the service was largely able to cope with the sudden increase in usage, though admitted that “some users in the Americas may have experienced slower speed than usual as millions of users from these continents rushed to sign up for Telegram at the same time.”

Telegram launched in 2013 and as of July this year served 550 million monthly active users.

Signal, another messaging app that’s estimated to have around 40 million monthly active users, also claimed to have added “millions” of new users to its service on Monday while Facebook remained offline.

Whether those new sign-ups convert into regular users of Telegram and Signal remains to be seen, but the apparent desertion by so many people in response to a single event will doubtless concern Facebook’s top team.

As the outage continued on Monday, Facebook’s market value fell by nearly $50 billion, though it recovered some of those losses on Tuesday. It’s also thought to have lost around $79 million in ad revenue during the downtime. Once Facebook and its other services were restored later on Monday, the company said it was “working to understand more about what happened today so we can continue to make our infrastructure more resilient.”

If the Facebook fiasco has left you keen to try a new messaging app, then take a moment to check out Digital Trends’ top suggestions.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
WhatsApp follows Facebook and YouTube to over 2 billion monthly users
whatsapp group admin feature telegram

WhatsApp has joined the 2 billion users club. The Facebook-owned messaging company today announced that the 11-year-old app now hosts over 2 billion monthly users -- up from 1.5 billion in 2017 and about 500 million short of Facebook’s 2.5 billion user base. After Facebook and YouTube, WhatsApp is the third app worldwide to have crossed 2 billion users.

"There are so many significant and special moments that take place over WhatsApp and we are humbled and honored to reach this milestone. We know that the more we connect, the more we have to protect. As we conduct more of our lives online, protecting our conversations is more important than ever," WhatsApp wrote in a blog post.

Read more
WhatsApp ends support for millions of smartphones around the world

WhatsApp is no longer supported on millions of phones around the world, as the Facebook-owned messaging service moves away from older operating systems.

According to an online FAQ on its official website, WhatsApp only supports iPhones running iOS 9 or later, Android smartphones running version 4.0.3 or later, and certain phones powered by KaiOS 2.5.1 or later, including JioPhone and JioPhone 2. This includes most people using the service on recently released smartphones with updated operating systems.

Read more
TikTok beats Facebook, Messenger in 2019 with over 700 million downloads

Music video app TikTok soared to new heights in 2019 with more than 700 million downloads, beating Facebook and Messenger, and behind only WhatsApp's more than 850 million downloads.

According to the latest edition of Sensor Tower's Store Intelligence Data Digest, TikTok has steadily climbed the annual Top Apps chart. The music app was fourth in 2018 behind WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook, pushing Instagram to fifth place. Last year, TikTok went up two spots to second place, leapfrogging Messenger and Facebook, while WhatsApp retained its top spot.

Read more