Telegram, Signal See 1200% Spike in Users Ahead of WhatsApp Privacy Policy Deadline

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WhatsApp has been under immense scrutiny in recent months, from initially suggesting that users who do not accept its new terms of use would have their account deleted to a nationwide campaign about how their data would be safe, to stating that users who do not accept the terms will keep their accounts, but the features would start to fade.

This has been nothing but good news for the messaging platform’s primary competitors, namely Signal and Telegram, both of which offer better security and, in the case of Telegram, better features.

It seems the average user has become more aware of tech and their privacy, since, according to a recent report, Telegram and Signal have seen a 1200% growth, incidentally during the final days ahead of the May 15 deadline for WhatsApp users. It seems the public outrage that started in January has been beneficial to both platforms.

Signal, Telegram See 1200% Spike In Users

Mobile application analytics firm Sensor Tower has reported that Telegram and Signal have both seen a massive spike in their adoption in January, around the same time when WhatsApp announced its updated privacy policy that would allow Facebook to gain data access from the messaging service.

For those of you unaware, the deadline to accept this new policy was initially set for February 8, but the company revised it to May 15 post criticism from users.

As per the report, in the first four months of 2021, Signal saw a total first-time download growth of 1,192% on a year-over-year (YoY) basis to 64.4 million users worldwide, with Telegram surging to a 98% improvement on a YoY basis. In stark contrast, WhatsApp’s installs dipped 43% YoY to 172.3 million during the same period.

In case you wish to know the exact numbers, Signal installs grew in January by a whopping 5,001% YoY to 50.6 million in comparison to the 992,000 in 2020. The install counts fell to around 86% month-over-month to somewhere around seven million.

As per a statement by the firm, despite installs having declined each month since the initial spike in January, the application is experiencing consistent YoY growth each month, with 2.8 million downloads in 2021, in contrast to 1.3 million in 2020.

Similarly, Telegram downloads rose 283% YoY to 63.5 million from 16.6 million. There was a 3% dip in its download in April, down to 26.2 million in 2021 from 27 million in 2020.

To add to WhatsApp’s woes, it seems that the Facebook-owned application was seeing an install decline prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, with a 28% drop in installs in April of 2020 in comparison to March.

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Shloke is your go-to guy when it comes to consumer tech. Specializing in In-Depth pieces, he's also getting to grips with Telecom. His hobbies consist of Formula One and Gaming.

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