Signal, Telegram See 1200% Jump in User Compared to WhatsApp

by Lingraj Sahu

After WhatsApp announced its privacy policy change in January 2021, both Telegram and Signal saw a surge in adoption, which has since slowed down, shows data by Sensor Tower.

After WhatsApp announced its privacy policy change in January 2021, both Telegram and Signal saw a surge in adoption, which has since slowed down, according to data shared by analytics firm Sensor Tower. The data also notes that while WhatsApp’s installs have declined it is still ahead of rivals in terms of sheer numbers.

Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data reveals that mobile users flocked to alternatives led by Telegram and Signal following the original announcement in January. When the policy was first announced, users had till February 8 to accept the new policy and it led to a lot of outrage. At the time, WhatsApp had also said it would delete user accounts for those who did not accept the new terms.

Signal, Telegram

Mobile apps analytics firm Sensor Tower has reported that Signal and Telegram saw a massive spike in their adoption in January. It was the time when WhatsApp was first spotted bringing its updated privacy policy that allows its parent company Facebook to gain user data access from the messaging app. The update was originally meant to be accepted by all users by February 8, but the deadline was later revised to May 15 — following massive criticism from users. WhatsApp, however, recently decided to scrap the deadline, though the updated policy is still in place and the users who would not accept it will encounter limited functionality on the app.

Signal, Telegram

Sensor Tower said that in the first four months of 2021, Signal saw its first-time downloads growing 1,192 percent year-over-year (YoY) to 64.4 million worldwide, while Telegram’s installs surged 98 percent YoY to over 161 million. This was unlike WhatsApp installs globally that dipped 43 percent YoY to 172.3 million in the January–April period.

Signal, Telegram

Telegram and Signal Subscriber Growth

Signal’s growth rate of 1,192 percent has been achieved in the first four months of January 2021 to April 2021 over the previous year. The download of the Signal app was 64.4 million. The same Telegram has registered a growth rate of 98 percent as compared to the previous year. Whereas WhatsApp downloading has fallen by 43 percent over the previous year. During this period, the downloading number stood at 172.3 million.

Signal, Telegram

Sensor Tower said that even before its updated privacy policy, WhatsApp’s app installs saw a decline around the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. In April 2020, the installs of WhatsApp globally dropped 28 percent month-over-month to 55.2 million from 76.5 million in March.

“The decline in its installs throughout 2020 was possibly due to potential new users — eager to communicate with friends and loved ones — opting for the desktop or Web version of WhatsApp while sheltering in place,” Sensor Tower said.

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