After WhatsApp previously banned Telegram links on their messaging platform, things are heating up between these two rivals. Now something interesting happened: Brazil blocked WhatsApp for 48 hours — total blackout.
This happened after a court decision which WhatsApp failed to comply with. WhatsApp allegedly undermines the local VoIP services by offering free calls through the WhatsApp network, which is owned by Facebook.
This issue is also related to net neutrality, yet Brazilian telecom providers had been working on ways to prove the government that WhatsApp is not complying with state law. Reuters reported that one of the most dangerous drug trafficker allegedly used WhatsApp to process drug deals.
However, this ban resulted in more than 1.5 million new Telegram users and eventually lead to an SMS gateway overload in Brazil, as the official Telegram account on Twitter highlights:
1.500.000 and counting, SMS-Gateways overloading. Hang on, your codes are coming! We've got all hands on deck to accommodate the crazy load.— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) December 17, 2015
Telegram is growing rapidly worldwide and is constantly working on improving it's platform against competitors including WhatsApp. Mobile payments will be part of this plan, as Telegram's founder Pavel Durov mentioned at TechCrunch Disrupt this year.
Update Dec 17, 18:00 CET
The ban has been lifted after less than 48 hrs, as Mark Zuckerberg states on facebook.
- Court blocks WhatsApp Brazil message service for 48 hours, Reuters (December 2015)
- Telegram gains 1 million users in a day following WhatsApp ban in Brazil, VentureBeat (December 2015)