Telegram claims three million upsurge in users amid Facebook outages

March 14, 2019

Russian messaging app Telegram claims to have seen a surge in sign-ups while rival Facebook's services were down.

Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp are now online after a massive global outage left certain users unable to access them for almost 24 hours.

According to the founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, during this period his messaging app saw an increase in sign ups.

"I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours," he wrote, without directly referencing Facebook.

However, Mr Durov did make reference to Telegram's marketing on privacy grounds, noting: "We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone."

His statements follow consecutive privacy scandals for Facebook which resulted in Mark Zuckerberg suggesting the company would move towards an increasingly privacy focused platform, although many onlookers questioned the sincerity of this statement.

The privacy commitments of Telegram have been questioned by security researchers who believe it could be influenced by the Russian security services.

The app has faced bans and censorship in many countries for its Libertarian attitude towards the content users post - for which end-to-end encryption is available.

Mr Durov, who also founded Vkontakte (often referred to as Russian Facebook), left Russia in 2014, and now lives in self-imposed exile as a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

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