Telegram rakes in 3 million new users as Facebook sees global outage

While Facebook’s family of apps experienced troubles during a global outage yesterday, messaging app Telegram saw a spike in users.

According to Telegram founder Pavel Durov on his channel yesterday, there were three million new user sign-ups in the past 24 hours. The outage, which Facebook later said was due to a “server configuration change”, had caused glitches on apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Whatsapp. Durov added, “Good. We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone.” The move seems to boast Telegram’s encryption and self-destruct features while taking a swipe at Facebook privacy woes of late.

In the United States, Facebook has been under the fire for breach of privacy, with regulators discussing a fine against the social media giant for violating an agreement with the government to protect personal data.

Last week, Facebook’s CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg shared its vision to reposition Facebook as a “privacy-focused messaging and social networking platform” in a note on Facebook. Among many things, he outlined his plans to introduce private and encrypted communications, reduced permanence to certain user content, interoperability and secure data storage.

Zuckerberg said, “In a few years, I expect future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp to become the main ways people communicate on the Facebook network. We’re focused on making both of these apps faster, simpler, more private and more secure, including with end-to-end encryption. We then plan to add more ways to interact privately with your friends, groups, and businesses.”

Last October, approximately 50 million Facebook user accounts were hacked as attackers exploited the “View As” feature, which allows people to see what their profile looks like to someone else. Hackers stole Facebook access tokens through this to “take over” accounts.

According to Facebook, it was unable to determine whether the accounts were misused and/or if the private information was stolen. While Facebook did not confirm if the Instagram accounts were compromised in line with the breach, it said that if affected users have their Facebook accounts linked to an Instagram account, users will have to “unlink and relink” both accounts.

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