Believe it or not, when the biggest social media and messaging provider goes down there can be a winner. Clearly, it’s not their users since critical services are offline. But when that outage lasts more than a short period, users seek alternatives. This is where options like Telegram, now hugely popular and — in this case — more importantly reliable come into play.

During the outage of Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook a couple of nights ago, Telegram saw a huge influx of users according to founder Pavel Durov:

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.

That in itself is huge numbers, but the fact that it represents a significant influx of users magnitudes higher than normal growth is impressive. Further, without this having more than a minor performance issue to the active userbase is astounding and brought praise from Durov to his team:

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 is our messaging weapon of choice at Ausdroid, with no real drive for us to move elsewhere. What more do you need than a full feature set for a messaging solution?

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Kinda disappointed that Signal (a truely ‘secure by default’ platform) doesn’t get the recognition that Telegram (a ‘secure if you want it to be’ platform) does.

I hated Signal when I was forced to adopt it due to a few key social groups but it has greatly improved. I’d say it is now on-par with WhatsApp in functionality and is provably secure.

I haven’t used Telegram – is it still the case that you need to enable encryption per chat?