One man's loss is another man's gain. A cloud-based instant messaging app Telegram gained three million new users in the last 24 hours when all Facebook-family apps including WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram were hit with perhaps the worst outage in Facebook's history.
Three million is a very big number, especially for the company like Telegram that boasted 200 million active users as of March 2018. Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov shared the news on his personal Telegram channel. Durov also taunted Facebook by boasting Telegram's "True privacy."
Here is what Durov had to say:
"I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours. Good. We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone."
Telegram is a free-to-use end-to-end encrypted messaging service similar to WhatsApp. As The Verge points out, Telegram makes money from user donations, unlike Facebook that uses targeted advertising model.
Facebook's targeted ad business is driven by the vast amount of data it collects on its users. Telegram, on the other hand, has always prioritised a user’s privacy over a business. In fact, privacy and security are two of the key features of Telegram.
Back in 2013, Telegram opted for end-to-end encryption support, three years before WhatsApp.
Facebook continues to experience a partial outage since the last 20 hours. Although Instagram restored its service, we are still seeking more information on the number of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram users affected by a disruption of this magnitude.
Facebook has not revealed the cause of these issues or how long will it take for the company to resolve the problem.
In its initial statement, Facebook acknowledged the problem and said they are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Hours after Facebook acknowledged the issue, some reports started to raise the possibility of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Facebook servers. Facebook, however, denied the involvement of DDoS attack in its second statement.