Telegram bagged 70 million new users when WhatsApp was down for a few hours

Telegram Messenger
Telegram Messenger (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp suffered from a multi-hour outage a couple of days ago and it was a big deal for its competitors.
  • Telegram founder Pavel Durov says the messenger app gained 70 million new users during the outage.

You'd need to have been living under a rock to miss that WhatsApp and other Facebook services were down the other day — but one company very much didn't miss it. Telegram, according to founder and chief executive Pavel Durov, picked up a massive 70 million new users during the outage.

As spied by TechCrunch, Durov posted the news to his Telegram channel, saying that he was "proud" of the way the team handled the unprecedented influx of new users. Despite that, Durov does note that Telegram did suffer some degradation of service during the sign-up frenzy.

The daily growth rate of Telegram exceeded the norm by an order of magnitude, and we welcomed over 70 million refugees from other platforms in one day. I am proud of how our team handled the unprecedented growth because Telegram continued to work flawlessly for the vast majority of our users. That said, 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 was already among the best iPhone messaging apps in the App Store and it will be very interesting to see how many of those 70 million people remain users — or will they switch back to WhatsApp now that service has been restored?

Telegram wasn't the only winner here, either. Signal also reported that it brought in "millions of new users" during WhatsApp's troubles.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.