Signal and Telegram downloads surge after WhatsApp’s decision to share data with Facebook

Signal and Telegram experienced a surge in downloads as users seek alternatives to WhatsApp over privacy issues.


Signal and Telegram have experienced a surge in downloads as more people seek other alternatives to WhatsApp, due to its new privacy policy.

The new privacy policy stated that WhatsApp will now share its users’ personal information, including phone numbers, IP addresses, contacts, and more with Facebook from February 8, 2021.

According to a CNBC report,

  • “Signal had approximately 7.5 million downloads globally through the Apple App Store and Google play store between January 6 and January 10, according to Sensor Tower. That is 43 times the number from the previous week. This has been the biggest number of installs since the app was created.  Telegram also saw 5.6 million downloads globally from Wednesday to Sunday.”

This massive boost is also as a result of a tweet made by Elon Musk nudging people to download the App. Signal shared on Twitter that verification codes will be delayed across several providers because so many new people are trying to join the App.

The company claims to have “state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption” as part of its service, which prevents messages from being read by those who are not the intended recipient, but there are still a lot of concerns like

  •  multiple requests from people asking Signal to allow sign-ups with email as they are not comfortable disclosing their phone numbers.
  • Signal lacking some of the features available on WhatsApp.

More people will download these alternatives, especially as WhatsApp is yet to reverse its updated privacy policy. However, Signal will need to give them a reason to keep using its App, since a lot of features that people are used to from WhatsApp and Facebook like Chat wallpapers, Backup chat history, User ID system to add users without phone numbers are still lacking.

Signal has to work hard to roll out more features that will give people the social experience that they want, else it risks losing its competitive advantage in the months to come.

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