Telegram founder says over 70 million new users joined during Facebook outage


A 3D printed Telegram logo is pictured on a keyboard in front of binary code in this illustration taken September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Messaging app Telegram gained over 70 million new users during Monday's Facebook outage, its founder Pavel Durov said on Tuesday, as people worldwide were left without key messaging services for nearly six hours.

Facebook blamed its outage, which kept its 3.5 billion users from accessing services such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, on a faulty configuration change.

"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," Durov wrote on his Telegram channel.

Durov said some users in the Americas may have experienced slower speeds as millions rushed to sign up at the same time, but that the service worked as usual for the majority.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said the outage demonstrated the repercussions of relying on just a few big players and underscored the need for more rivals.

Russia said the incident showed Moscow was right to develop its own sovereign internet platforms and social networks.

WhatsApp's nearly six-hour long outage on Monday hit trading of assets from cryptocurrencies to Russian oil, market players said, although a quick shift to alternative platforms such as Telegram limited severe disruption.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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