Telegram gets 3m new sign-ups during the Facebook outage

Messaging platform Telegram has obtained 3m new sign-ups during the recent Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram outage that affected millions of users across the globe.

The new users were announced by Telegram’s founder and CEO Pavel Durov on his personal Telegram channel.

“I see three million new customers signed up for Telegram throughout the final 24 hours,” the message read.

That’s a large amount of new users for a service that claims to have 200m active users as of March 2018.

At the time of writing Instagram’s services has been officially restored. Facebook hasn’t officially restored Facebook just yet, but it appears that its services are now back up and running.

Durov doesn’t offer any explanation for Telegram’s sudden surge in new sign ups, however he does take a swipe at social networking site Facebook – whose founder recently confirmed plans to pivot the platform to ‘privacy’.

Telegram privacy

“Good. We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone,” he noted.

A contact at Telegram confirmed to TechCrunch that the Facebook outage is the likely cause of its latest spoke in new sign-ups.

“These outages always drive new users,” the source said.

They also linked the growth to “the mainstream overall increasing understanding about Facebook’s abusive attention harvesting practices”.

Durov also called out other competitors, including WhatsApp, for not doing enough when it comes to protecting users’ privacy.  

According to a statement shared on Twitter, Durov said: “In 5+ years, Telegram disclosed exactly zero bytes of private data to third-parties including governments.

“That’s why Telegram is banned by authoritarian governments such as Russia and Iran. Other apps such as WhatsApp have no issues with there.”

However, Telegram has become a preferred target for hacker over the years. Last year, a zero-days vulnerability in Telegram Messenger allowed hackers to spread malware that mines cryptocurrencies such as Monero and ZCash.

End-to-end encryption

One of the reasons for this is the end-to-end encryption, which the company added in 2013.

Telegram’s special secret chats use end-to-end encryption, and it offer a self-destruct feature that allows users to set a timer for deleting messages allegedly without leaving a trace on any device.

Despite its privacy credentials, it has had its fair share of controversies and scandals over the years.

Last year, Apple removed Telegram from App Store due to suspicions of rampant child pornography content on the app.

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