Time spent on rival apps grew up to 23% during Facebook Outage: Report

Usage of rival apps spiked significantly after Facebook suffered a massive outage earlier this week on October 4.

The time spent by users on rival apps grew up to 23 per cent during the outage, according to data from Sensor Tower.

“The outage that struck Facebook’s apps on October 4 led consumers to seek out alternatives for social media and messaging, precipitating a surge in time spent among apps from the company’s competitors,” Sensor Tower said in a blog post.

Messaging apps

Messaging app adoption surged as a result of WhatsApp’s outage with competitors such as Telegram and Signal witnessing a spike in adoption on October 4.

Telegram and Signal also saw an up-tick in session count compared to September 27, climbing 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

According to preliminary Sensor Tower estimates, Signal’s installs grew nearly 12 times from 74,000 worldwide on October 3 to 881,000 on the following day.

Also see: Facebook apologises for second outage in a week, services back up

“Millions of new people have joined Signal today and our messaging and calling have been up and running but some people aren’t seeing all of their contacts appear on Signal. We’re working hard to fix this up,” Signal had tweeted on October 5.

Viber experienced 630 percent day-over-day growth from 137,000 installs to 1 million.

Telegram had experienced a record increase in user registration and activity on the day of the outage and reached 6.3 million on October 4, up 530 percent from 1 million on the previous day.

“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,” said Pavel Durov, founder and CEO of Telegram, on October 5.

Additionally, time spent on Signal grew 15 per cent while Telegram saw time spent climb 18 percent week-over-week.

Since January 2014, WhatsApp has accumulated 6 billion global installs while Telegram has recorded approximately 1 billion installs globally and Signal has reached 113 million.

Social media apps

As Facebook-owned photo sharing app Instagram went down, on the social media front, Snapchat saw the highest increase as average time spent by existing users climbed 23 per cent week-over-week during the outage, as per an analysis of preliminary Sensor Tower Usage Intelligence data.

Other services witnessed a marginal increase, with Twitter’s usage increasing 11 per cent and TikTok experiencing a 2 per cent spike.

Also see: A year after TikTok ban, Indian versions struggle to make the scene

Twitter however seemed to witness a significant surge during the outage as the platform itself suffered issues owing to the spike in users on the platform.

“Sometimes more people than usual use Twitter. We prepare for these moments, but today things didn’t go exactly as planned. Some of you may have had an issue seeing replies and DMs as a result. This has been fixed. Sorry about that!” It had said during the outage.

Snapchat experienced the most week-on-week (WoW) growth. When comparing October 4 to the week-ago day, the app saw a 14 per cent increase in sessions. Twitter recorded a 5 per cent growth WoW while TikTok had a dip of 1 per cent.

Impact on Facebook

Unsurprisingly, on the other hand, Monday’s outage negatively impacted Facebook’s cohort of apps as users couldn’t access the apps.

Instagram’s average time spent on Android fell 28 per cent WoW. Usage of Facebook’s Android app was down by 24 per cent, while WhatsApp usage declined by 25 percent and Messenger’s by 20 per cent.

“However, this isn’t necessarily an indication of a permanent shift in user behaviour. Facebook’s apps have proven to be resilient in the past, with WhatsApp’s monthly active users remaining steady despite the backlash earlier this year to its new privacy policy,” Sensor Tower said.

Facebook’s apps also witnessed a decline in session counts by existing users due to the outage, with WhatsApp falling by 15 per cent WoW, Instagram by 14 per cent, Facebook by 8 per cent, and Messenger by 7 per cent.

Facebook suffered another two hour outage on Friday and apologised to users for disruption to its services. It attributed the disruption to another faulty configuration change for its second global outage this week.

Instagram, Messenger and Workplace were impacted by the latest outage, the tech giant confirmed.