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Telegram app bolstered by 5m new users in one day

Telegram app, a free, partially open source mobile messenger that allows users to exchange encrypted messages, was bolstered by five million new users in one day following a high-profile outage by rival messaging app WhatsApp. Interestingly, WhatsApp suffered the three hour outage just days after it was acquired by Facebook for a whopping $19bn. Could it be WhatsApp users were fleeing from Facebook? May be.

How it happened

Telegram app saw a staggering4.95 million people sign up to its service on Sunday February 23 within 48 hours. This happened just a day after WhatsApp experienced a problem with its routers on Saturday afternoon that caused the WhatsApp service to go down for three hours.

Telegram revealed through its official Tweeter account (@telegram) that thanks to the influx of new users it had become the“#1 most downloaded iPhone app in 48 countries.” That is a dramatic growth even for an app that had only around 100,000 daily active users as recently as October 2013.

As might be expected, the sudden influx of users who were registering to Telegram at a rate of 100 new user per second caused the service itself to struggled to cope with the massive user influx.The company again revealed on Twitter it was not yet ready for such a huge influx of users. It tweeted, “Frankly, we’d rather have a gradual organic growth.”

Telegram’s plan was to be ready for this kind of growth in two months. Soon after Telegram experienced its own outage due to the influx, the company tweeted:

“We expected 1 million registrations per day max; 5 million daily signups seemed crazy.”

“Due to the insane growth rate our cluster in Europe experienced a 2-hour downtime today. We are adding servers, but it takes time.”

As all this went down, it came as no surprise to us that Telegram – which emphasizes privacy and security – was seen as the next best alternative to WhatsApp.

Who’s behind Telegram?

Telegram launched for iPhone in August 2013 and then for Android in October of the same year. It was financed by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov who is founder of Russian social network vKontakte.

Pavel Durov worked with his brother Nikolai on Telegram and set out the vision for the app. According to the brothers, “Telegram is not intended to bring revenue, it will never sell ads or accept outside investment. It also cannot be sold.”

The app is run by a team based in Berlin Germany and available for free download in the Google Play and iOS App Store.

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