This story was originally published and last updated .
Recently, the popular messaging service Signal has been suffering from problems in the last day or so. Although it has resumed working for some users on certain combinations of platforms, problem reports continue, and the signal status dashboard shows current technical difficulties. The company̵
We added new servers and additional capacity at a record pace every day this week without interruption, but today it exceeded even our most optimistic forecasts. Millions upon millions of new users send a message that matters to privacy. We appreciate your patience.
– Signal (@signalapp) January 15, 2021
The popularity of the Signal messaging service has exploded in recent weeks, largely due to concerns about recent changes in the terms of the WhatsApp service. Reports of the problems began for the first time on Friday around 10:00 a.m. ET. Since then, the pace of reporting has slowed, with some claiming that the service works when sending messages to others on certain platforms, although other combinations continue to suffer from difficulties, and the official Signal dashboard indicates that problems persist.
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Some users can log in and receive some messages, and those sent during the interruption arrive as a “badly encrypted message”. Others say they can send but not receive messages, or that conversations between certain combinations of platforms (such as iOS to iOS) work, while others don’t. Most report a continuous banner with an error message that reads, “Signal is experiencing technical difficulties. We’re working hard to restore the service as quickly as possible.”
One of the error messages that signal users may see during an interruption. Thanks: Nicholas Blasgen.
For strangers, Signal is a privacy-oriented messaging service available on Android, iOS and desktop (including Windows, macOS and Linux) that offers secure and encrypted communication. It is open source and managed by a non-profit organization and is a popular alternative to services such as WhatsApp and Hangouts.
the relaxation decreases and I am free
the signal decreases and I’m worried
– Tony Rom (@TonyRomm) January 15, 2021
Not surprisingly, Signal would face a problem like this, given the recent growth rate. Based on the indicators of the Play Store, its user base has increased at least 5 times in the last week alone and this ignores other platforms. Real numbers can be closer to 10 or 20X. With an explosion of new users like this, growing pains like these are basically inevitable and today’s stay can be expected.
I think the @signalapp DDoS applications created the server. The servers ran out of capacity due to an influx of users and began returning HTTP 508, which was not processed by the application, and millions of applications began trying the connection at once. Judging by recent engagements at https://t.co/KD6kS2o9wt
– Daniel Novak (@NovakDaniel) January 16, 2021
Signal told us around 11:00 a.m. ET on Friday, 1/15, that it was fixing the problem and would soon return to normal, although it looks like the resolution may take a little longer than originally planned. Given how fast the service has been growing lately, we can’t blame them for being sudden victims of their own success. Learning how to scale is difficult.
It is working for some, although the interruption continues
Signal confirmed the interruption and the service started working for some, although the experience was not universal. Our coverage has been updated in more detail as problems continue.