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HomeNewsSMS is still king, but Telegram and Signal gained lots of ground

SMS is still king, but Telegram and Signal gained lots of ground

It’s good that we have so many great messaging options.

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What you need to know

  • After the massive Facebook outage this week, we wanted to know which messaging platforms our readers relied on.
  • Fully 30% of WhatsApp users pivoted to their default SMS app.
  • Almost an equal number took up Telegram, while nearly as many switched to Signal.

When a service as large and interconnected as Facebook goes down, it affects just about everyone and everything we do, including how we communicate with each other on our Android phones. Monday’s outage not only affected Facebook proper, but its messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, and even Instagram DMs. Given that billions of people worldwide rely on these services, we wanted to know how their absence affected our readers and which messaging apps they turned to during the outage (and after).

It seems at least some of the major competitors fared well, with Telegram saying it gained 70 million new users this week, and Signal also reported a significant jump in its install base. Judging by our results, these claims appear pretty accurate.

According to our poll, almost a third of WhatsApp users simply started using their default SMS app, while just about the same amount of people moved on to Telegram. Signal was also a popular alternative, with nearly a quarter of respondents saying that was the messaging app they turned to. No other app in our poll received more than a percentage point of the votes.

What messaging app did you turn to when Facebook services went down earlier this week?

Something like switching chat apps is bound to generate a lot of controversy. Here are some of our favorite fan responses to the poll:

Something called Google Messages.

— James Wyman (@jaswyman) October 6, 2021

Signal. Obviously.

— Bart W (@b4rtw) October 6, 2021

I already had Telegram. Also I deleted WhatsApp forever

— Keev (@thedjkevon) October 6, 2021

It will certainly be interesting to see if the gains that Telegram and Signal saw will hold and continue to grow or if WhatsApp usage will rebound soon.

The poll has closed, but we’ll be sharing a new poll this weekend — so be on the lookout!

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