Telegram Gets 1.5M+ Download Spike…


Messaging app Telegram is currently experiencing a bump in downloads in Brazil thanks to a local court ruling forcing a 48 hour shutdown of WhatsApp, which started at 9pm ET on Wednesday. (More on the wtaf of that ruling here.)

WhatsApp is massively popular in Brazil, with some 93 million users — or 93% of the country’s Internet population. So what happens when you shut off a messaging service used by almost everyone in a nation who owns a smartphone? You just encourage them to route around the damage and find an alternative way to communicate, that’s what.

(There’s a parallel lesson here for politicians thinking that banning encryption will prevent terrorists from securely communicating.)

As of 12 hours ago, Telegram was saying 500,000 users from Brazil had signed up in the past three hours. Two hours after that it tweeted that 1M new users had joined from the country — “and growing”. One hour after that it said it had 1.5M new users and counting.

At this point SMS gateways started struggling to keep pace with demand, with Telegram urging Brazilians trying to sign up but not getting sent an SMS verification code to “hang on! Codes are coming”.

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