- Several users faced issues and outages on the Signal app on Friday.
- Elon Musk even asked his followers on Twitter to use Signal instead.
The company informed people via Twitter that the app was back online and thanked the millions of new users for choosing signal.
Signal is back! Like an underdog going through a training montage, we've learned a lot since yesterday — and we did it together. Thanks to the millions of new Signal users around the world for your patience. Your capacity for understanding inspired us while we expanded capacity. pic.twitter.com/cRNV8kVtdF— Signal (@signalapp) January 17, 2021
Reports of problems first began on Friday. The pace of reports has since diminished, with most claiming that issues have now been resolved. Symptoms during the outage varied. Early on, folks had trouble even connecting and logging in. Later on, when things began coming back up at Signal, there was a mix of folks able to send but not receive messages, and conversations among certain platform combinations (like iOS to iOS) would work, while others didn't. In most cases, there was an ongoing error message banner that stated: "Signal is experiencing technical difficulties. We are working hard to restore service as quickly as possible."
It is not surprising that Signal ran into an issue like this, given the pace of growth that it's seen recently. Based on Play Store metrics, its userbase is up at least 5X in the last week alone, and that's ignoring other platforms. The true numbers could be closer to 10 or 20X. With an explosion in new users like that, denial of service errors like these are inevitable, and Friday's downtime is to be expected.
On Friday, 15th January, Whatsapp announced that it has decided to postpone a privacy update by three months due to "misinformation causing concern" among its users.