WhatsApp told its users on February 8 that they will be required to share certain personal information with its parent company, Facebook.
The competing encrypted messaging programme Signal, which topped Google and Apple’s app stores on Wednesday, had a significant increase in downloads, according to data.
Last week, Signal was downloaded 7,500,000 times, a 4,200% increase from the previous week. Telegram, a comparable app, had a 91 per cent surge in downloads to 9 million. The largest source of downloads for both was India.
Signal got considerable notoriety following WhatsApp’s debut, with notable figures such as Elon Musk and Edward Snowden praising the software as an alternative to WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s competitors received a major boost after the messaging service announced last week that it will require users to share some personal information with Facebook, its parent firm.
Following What’s App’s Announcement, Signal, a Competitor Encrypted Messaging Service, Experienced a Massive Increase in User Numbers, According to App Analytics Firm Sensor Tower
WhatsApp informed users on January 6 that they had until February 8 to consent to Facebook and its companies collecting WhatsApp data, including phone numbers and locations, or lose access to the app. Since then, WhatsApp has clarified that this solely affects users outside the European Union and the United Kingdom and stated that the move “in no way undermines the privacy of your chats with friends and family.”
From January 6 to January 10, Signal had about 7.5 million global instals across the App Store and Google Play, according to a Sensor Tower spokesperson speaking with Insider.
This represents a 4,200% gain compared to the prior week.
The app topped both Google and Apple’s app stores in the United States on Wednesday, according to statistics from the analytics firm App Annie. According to Fox News, the application has topped both shops since Monday.
The increase in downloads coincided with the shutdown of Parler, a popular social media app among followers of President Donald Trump. Amazon removed the app from its web hosting service on Monday, citing that it “cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to properly detect and delete information that promotes or incites violence against others.”
Following WhatsApp’s release, Signal garnered substantial press, with notable figures like Elon Musk and Edward Snowden promoting the programme. Musk’s tweet “use Signal” had the unintended consequence of sending shares of a separate business, Signal Advance, skyrocketing by 11,700 per cent.
The encrypted messaging service Telegram reported an increase in its user base. Between January 6 and January 10, it gained 9 million new users, a 91 per cent increase from the previous week; it is currently the second most popular app in both the Google Play and Apple App Stores.
India was the largest growth market for both apps. Signal saw 2.3 million
India was the largest growth market for both apps. India accounted for over 30 per cent of Signal’s new instals, with over 2.3 million installations. India accounted for 16 per cent, or 1.5 million, of all Telegram installations.
The United States was the second-largest market for Signal, with approximately 1 million installations.
The co-founder of both apps, Brian Acton, told TechCrunch that despite Signal’s rising popularity, it will not replace WhatsApp. People will instead use the two applications for distinct discussions, he said, adding that it does not and will not match all of WhatsApp’s features.
“My goal is to provide individuals with options,” Acton told the outlet. It is not strictly a case of winner-take-all.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp has tried to ease public worries regarding the privacy of its app. “We want to dispel rumours and make it quite clear that we continue to protect your private messages using end-to-end encryption,” the business said in a Monday statement.
“We would like to clarify that the policy update has no impact on the privacy of your messages with friends and family. Instead, this upgrade contains optional modifications to messaging a business on WhatsApp, as well as increased transparency around how we gather and utilise data “WhatsApp included a FAQ section on its website.