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Signal down: WhatsApp rival stops working as it deals with influx of new users

The Independent logo The Independent 15/01/2021 Andrew Griffin
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Signal has stopped working properly, in the wake of an influx of new users.

The encrypted messaging app has received even more attention than usual in recent days, as users frustrated with WhatsApp’s privacy policies switch over in the hope of keeping their information protected.

But the app appears to have stopped working properly, with messages not able to send.

Attempting to deliver messages to other users just shows them hanging, presumably because the app is unable to connect as usual.

“Signal is experiencing technical difficulties," the company said in a tweet. "We are working hard to restore service as quickly as possible.”

The same message appeared to users within the app.

Tracking website Down Detector showed a rapid increase in the number of users registering problems with the app.

As with fellow WhatsApp competitor Telegram, Signal has seen an influx of users who are joining in search of alternative encrypted messaging apps.

Signal has already been hit with some technical issues as it struggles to deal with the rush of new users. Earlier this week, it said that it was struggling to deliver the verification codes that users have to enter to login, amid the rush of new users.

In the time since, it has repeatedly referenced the number of new users and how rapidly it is going. Moxie Marlinspike, who created the app, joked on Twitter that the company was planning “to power the western hemisphere with the heat from our servers".

It is not clear whether the latest outage has any connection to the ongoing WhatsApp scandal or the newly registered Signal users that have arrived since.

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