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.
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Facebook suffered a six-hour outage that spanned its WhatsApp messenger, the main social network and photo-sharing app Instagram, shutting out many of its 2.7 billion global users. The situation idled some of the company’s employees and prompted a public apology from Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook’s loss turned into a gain for other social media. Twitter Inc.’s network stayed online, with Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey tweeting his endorsement of Signal as a suitable WhatsApp alternative and amplifying Snowden’s urging of his followers to move away from the Facebook-owned app. Thousands of rooms on audio-chat app Clubhouse had people talking about the outage, a spokeswoman for the service said, adding that all its main metrics rose.
Signal’s focus on privacy — expressed in its policy to not collect any data on its users and thus avoid situations where governments may pressure it to disclose personally identifiable information — has made it a favorite for secure communications. Telegram has also historically added millions of users in the wake of major WhatsApp outages.
Signal is WhatsUp
— jack (@jack) October 4, 2021