Technology

Signal and Telegram see a meteoric growth after WhatsApp privacy policy controversy

Last week, Signal ranked 7th between the most downloaded apps in Brazil; WhatsApp ranked 24th

Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
  • Signal was downloaded by 17.8 million users over the past seven days, a 62-fold rise from the prior week, while WhatsApp had a 17% decline;
  • Last week, Signal ranked 7th among the most downloaded apps in Brazil; WhatsApp ranked 24th;
  • WhatsApp’s new privacy terms reserve the right to share user data, including location and phone number, with its parent Facebook Inc and units.

Signal and Telegram messaging apps are seeing a sudden increase in demand after larger rival WhatsApp‘s updated terms of service raised eyebrows on social media.

According to data from Sensor Tower, Signal was downloaded by 17.8 million users over the past seven days, a 62-fold rise from the prior week. WhatsApp was downloaded by 10.6 million users during the same period, a 17% decline. Telegram said on Wednesday, 13, it had surpassed 500 million active users globally.

In Brazil, WhatsApp’s second-largest market worldwide, changes in its privacy policy also changed messaging applications’ search. According to the website Mobile Time, which obtained exclusive data from mobile market analysis company App Annie, there was a drop in WhatsApp downloads and an increase in Signal and Telegram’s downloads in the last few days.

READ ALSO: Analysis: What changes in WhatsApp’s new privacy policy

App Annie shows that, while on Friday, 8, WhatsApp was the most downloaded app on the App Store and Google Play in Brazil, Telegram was 18th, and Signal did not even appear among the 500 most installed apps, last Monday, WhatsApp appeared in 24th position, Signal reached 7th and Telegram ranked 10th.

It’s about privacy

WhatsApp’s new privacy terms reserve the right to share user data, including location and phone number, with its parent Facebook Inc and units such as Instagram and Messenger.

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Some privacy activists questioned the “accept our data grab or get out” move on Twitter and suggested users switch to apps like Signal and Telegram.

Also, Signal’s popularity shot up further on Thursday after it was endorsed by Elon Musk, who has one of the most-followed accounts on Twitter, and by the micro-blogging site’s top boss Jack Dorsey.

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