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Facebook Says 1 Million People Accessed the Site Over Tor This Month

After the launch of Facebook's hidden service and an updated Android app making connections smoother, more people are visiting the site over Tor.

The number of people connecting to Facebook over Tor has been increasing over the past year. The company announced on Friday that, this month, the figure exceeded 1 million visitors.

"This growth is a reflection of the choices that people make to use Facebook over Tor, and the value that it provides them. We hope they will continue to provide feedback and help us keep improving," Alec Muffett, a software engineer for security infrastructure at Facebook in London, wrote in a post on Friday.

In June 2015, Muffett writes, about 525,000 people would access Facebook using Tor over a typical 30 period. "This number has grown—roughly linearly—and this month, for the first time, we saw this '30 day' figure exceed 1 million people," Muffett continues.

"On any given day we sum how many people access Facebook over Tor over the previous 30 days," Muffett elaborated in a tweet. "This is the number we cite." (Muffett clarified to Motherboard that the number refers to unique visitors to the site).

These numbers include use of the social network's own hidden service and people who visit via the Tor browser. Facebook's .onion site launched in 2014, and allows users to connect without their traffic ever leaving the Tor network for extra privacy. Visits over Orbot, an app for Android that allows easier connections to Facebook through Tor, are also bundled into this one million figure.

"It's important to us to provide methods for people to use our services securely—particularly if they lack reliable methods to do so," Muffett's post adds.