Social Media Users in Africa React to WhatsApp & Facebook Outages

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Last evening, millions of people across Africa went to their usual social media platforms only to have their apps load endlessly. Was it the signal? Did they steal the tower cables? No — Facebook and its platforms, including some of the biggest social media apps on Earth, WhatsApp and Instagram, were offline due to a “faulty configuration change.”

Needless to say, people from across the continent (and the world) descended to remaining social platforms, including, most-notably, Twitter.

hello literally everyone

— Twitter (@Twitter) October 4, 2021

Twitter is a social media platform in a very small club with the likes of TikTok in that they are a massively popular social media platform not owned by Facebook and its headman, Mark Zuckerberg.

In February, Twitter had 353-million monthly active users. A number that is only increasing year over year. A notable feature of Twitter, one which has spurred its worldwide popularity, is the infinite nature of its communications. People on Twitter can talk about anything as long as it doesn’t harm other users, and Twitter will promote these conversations via its trends tab. Even if the conversation is about rival social media platforms.

Across South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, the number 1 trend on the platform since last night is “WhatsApp,” followed closely by #FacebookDown.

Most reactions from users have been comedy-minded. While Mark Zuckerberg lost billions during the outages of his social platforms, for most users the downed apps present minor annoyances.

Since WhatsApp is not working I've lost 3 of 5 relationships

— The Notorious Lighty🎱 (@Vho_Welem) October 4, 2021

Not whatsapp crushing after I just bought my whatsapp data

— Kaygee (@abutikgao) October 4, 2021

Safaricom: you have successfully purchased 10 Gb for…


— BLACK^_^. (@Itsshadrack_) October 4, 2021

Its gonna take the whole night 🤦‍♂️

— Minister Mcalistair (@McalistairM) October 4, 2021

A few users have seemingly made up their mind and will be switching preferred sites.

With Whatsapp down, I guess this is the right moment to be a permanent resident of Twitter

— TETELO (@Sithale_Matete) October 4, 2021

Twitter remains the best, RIP to WhatsApp Facebook and Instagram

— The Notorious Lighty🎱 (@Vho_Welem) October 4, 2021

when WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram is down but you realize Twitter isn’t owned by Mark Zuckerberg

— 𝖇𝖎𝖌 𝖉𝖗𝖆𝖈𝖔 (@drac0srevenge) October 4, 2021

What did you do to pass time during the shutdown?#InternetShutDown #facebookdown #whatsappdown #WhatsApp #instagramdown

— Thabile Thusi (@thabile2c) October 5, 2021

Interestingly, some users tweeted that they would be switching to WhatsApp rival, Telegram.

According to Bloomberg, Telegram and another private messaging app, Signal, saw downloads and user sign-ups explode during the roughly 6 hours that the Facebook group of apps were down.

Telegram managed to top the US iPhone download charts in just a few hours as WhatsApp was inoperable.

Bye WhatsApp Hello Telegram

— Pk 🇿🇦 (@Molo_pee) October 4, 2021


Telegram the only man standing rn whilst Whatsapp Facebook and Instagram are all down😂🤣😂

— CASSLEBORSA 🎭🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈 (@CassleboRsa) October 4, 2021

Telegram poked fun at the whole debacle on its official Twitter account. The app was “doing its own thing” last night.

— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) October 4, 2021

“Telegram” is currently one of the top trends in Nigeria, a country where users have to turn to VPNs to use Twitter due to the government imposed ban of the service.

In Nigeria right now, No @Twitter, No @Facebook , No @WhatsApp and No @instagram

Only @telegram

— Br0nati0n (@Sean1Africa) October 4, 2021

My mum called from Nigeria talking about “Oya e lo download Telegram”

— Tiana (@BusolaAd) October 4, 2021

Breaking: Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp is down

Twitter, Telegram the only working Social Media now. Use VPN to access Twitter if you are in Nigeria.

— SPOT ON MEDIA (S.O.M) (@Spot_On_Media1) October 4, 2021

By Luis Monzon
Follow Luis Monzon on Twitter
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