Perhaps you’ve experienced the outage of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram yourself when you were unable to use their services properly. Users from all over the world were reporting issues with the apps.
And while the three widely popular services were struggling to return to normal, another platform gained more users. Telegram.
Telegram Gaining Users While Facebook and WhatsApp Were Down
According to Pavel Durov, the founder of the secure messaging platform, Telegram registered a huge increase in sign-ups within the last 24 hours, or exactly during the time the rival apps were experiencing the outage.
A message Durov left on his Telegram channel says that he saw 3 million new users that signed up for Telegram in the last day. “Good. We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone,” he noted. And he’s not far from the truth. Telegram introduced end-to-end encryption in 2013, which is three years earlier than WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Furthermore, the application is well-known for its privacy.
According to a Durov’s statement shared on Twitter, “in 5+ years, Telegram disclosed exactly zero bytes of private data to third-parties including governments”. He also pointed out that that’s the reason Telegram is banned in countries such as Russia and Iran, where apps like WhatsApp operate with no resistance from the government.
Hackers Like Telegram, Too
Nonetheless, Telegram has become a preferred target for hackers as evident by the increasing number of abuse cases on the service. The application has been abused for both spreading malware and pirated content, and as a communication channel.
One of the reasons for this is the end-to-end encryption offered by Telegram – the app’s special secret chats use end-to-end encryption, leave no trace on our servers, support self-destructing messages and don’t allow forwarding. On top of this, secret chats are not part of the Telegram cloud and can only be accessed on their devices of origin.
Security researchers have indeed spotted an increase in cybercriminals leveraging Telegram to communicate in a secure and efficient manner, which is a reason good enough for users to start using the service, too.