Earlier this week, a Brazilian court ordered the popular messaging service WhatsApp be suspended for 48 hours. The company, owned by Facebook, had refused to comply with a court order requiring them to provide police with private information related to a criminal investigation. Apparently, police believe the app was used to coordinate illegal activity, and had ordered Facebook to release details of those conversations.
The messaging app is massively popular throughout Brazil, with 93 percent of internet users subscribing to its services. Almost immediately after the suspension was enforced, Brazilians took to Twitter to joke about how life would be without WhatsApp. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook to discuss WhatsApp's ban, calling it a "sad day for Brazil", a country that was once "an ally in creating an open internet".https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10102530374780451?pnref=story
The ban was lifted before the expiration of the 48 hours by Judge Xavier de Souza who said that he didn't believe it was "reasonable that millions of users be affected by the inertia of the company".
The app rose to popularity due to the high rates cell phone service providers charge for their monthly plans, along with the high per minute rate of long distance calls. WhatsApp can be used for both texting and to make long distance calls, making it an attractive alternative to subscribing to a traditional mobile phone plan. In fact, many phone companies based in Brazil have complained about WhatsApp and other similar text and voice services, claiming the app basically steals their business. It's worth nothing that during the ban, rather than going back to traditional cell phone plans, many users turned to other messaging application instead. One such company, Telegram, reported an increase of 1.5 million users since the Brazilian ban began.