Overjoyed Brazilians Reunite With Their Favorite Texting App

A ban on WhatsApp briefly drove millions of Brazilians to download Telegram

Dec 17, 2015 at 12:39 PM ET

After a terrible stretch without WhatsApp, Brazilians have finally been reunited with their favorite texting tool. Service was reinstated after a judge in Sao Paulo banned the app, leading to nearly a half day of insufferable chat-free agony.

It’s now back, but even the brief hiatus drove users into the arms of another: while Whatsapp was down, downloads of Telegram soared, growing by around 1.5 million users overnight.

The ban, which may have been encouraged by local large telecoms companies, began at 12am sharp on December 17, sending Brazilians into a tailspin. The ban also increased worry over freedoms at a time when the political climate in the country is already unstable, with tens of thousands of Brazilians calling for the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff.

The political climate seemed to calm, however, when service to Whatsapp started rolling back out to users in Rio de Janeiro, who swiftly ditched Telegram. Others mourned the break from addictive texting.