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WhatsApp rival in Brazil makes gains on ban

Telegram, an alternative messaging app, is blowing up after the recent country-wide ban.

Facebook has lots of ways it wants you to be communicating and socializing. WhatsApp is just one of them.

James Martin/CNET

WhatsApp users in Brazil may be steaming about the newly imposed ban, but at least one party has to be celebrating a bit. Rival messaging app Telegram is now reporting a million new users (and a crashing registration system) just since the three-day WhatsApp ban went into effect, according to Quartz.

The temporary shutdown of WhatsApp, which counts 100 million users in Brazil, stems from reportedly unmet demands by the Brazilian government for information from Facebook, the parent company of WhatsApp. Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment on the matter.

Despite inroads by competitors, WhatsApp remains the dominant app of its type in the Brazilian market. According to, WhatsApp has a 56 percent overall adoption rate in Brazil. And according to SimilarWeb, a data collection firm, around 90 percent of Android phones in the country have the app installed.

But a ban or two can have a big effect. The last time that happened to WhatsApp, in late 2015, Telegram claimed over 6 million new users.