Preference Choice Publication

Three sees spike in SMS and MMS messages during Facebook platform outage

David Murphy

The temporary unavailability of Facebook and it’s OTT messaging services WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram yesterday had a positive effect on mobile networks who found their customers coming back to vanilla-flavoured text messages to keep in touch with each other.

Three UK saw its largest volume of non-New Year’s Eve/Christmas traffic in more than 10 years, while there were six times as many MMS messages sent on its network compared to an average Monday.

The busiest period for the SMS/MMS traffic was between 8 and 9pm UK time, during which Three saw more traffic than on New Year’s Eve 2020. Three also cashed in on Facebook’s problems with a tweet reminding mobile users that they could still keep in touch via text and voice calls.

“As some of the world’s most popular social media platforms went down last night, our network saw a huge spike in SMS traffic as customers switched from apps to more traditional means and our network continued to support them,” said Three UK Chief Network Officer, Carlo Melis. “In fact, between 8 and 9pm we carried more SMS [messages] than the last three New Year’s Eves – traditionally the busiest time for text."