On February 8, WhatsApp informed its users that they would have to give its parent firm, Facebook, some of their personal information.
According to data, the rival encrypted messaging service Signal, which topped Google and Apple’s app stores on Wednesday, had a sharp rise in downloads.
Signal was downloaded 7,500,000 times last week, up 4,200% from the week before. A similar app, Telegram, saw a 91% increase in downloads to 9 million. India was the main source of downloads for both.
Following WhatsApp’s announcement last week that it will compel users to share some personal information with Facebook, its parent company, the messaging service’s competitors saw a significant increase in popularity.
According to app analytics company Sensor Tower, Signal, a rival encrypted messaging service, saw a dramatic increase in users following What’s App’s announcement.
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On January 6, WhatsApp notified users that they had until February 8 to give their permission for Facebook and its firms to collect data from WhatsApp, including phone numbers and locations, or they would lose access to the programme. The move “in no way impairs the privacy of your communications with friends and family,” according to WhatsApp, which has now made it clear that it only affects users outside of the European Union and the United Kingdom.
According to a Sensor Tower representative who talked with Insider, from January 6 to January 10, Signal had around 7.5 million global installs across the App Store and Google Play.
Comparing this to the previous week, there has been an increase of 4,200 percent.
According to data from the analytics company App Annie, the app was the most popular one on Wednesday in both the Apple and Google app stores in the United States. The application has topped both shops since Monday, according to Fox News.
The rise in downloads happened about the same time that Parler, a well-liked social networking platform among supporters of President Donald Trump, was shut down. Using the justification that it “cannot provide services to a customer who is unable to effectively detect and delete information that supports or incites violence against others,” Amazon disabled the app from its web hosting service on Monday.
Signal received a lot of coverage after WhatsApp’s launch, with prominent individuals like Elon Musk and Edward Snowden endorsing the application. Musk’s tweet to “use Signal” unintentionally caused shares of a different company, Signal Advance, to soar by 11,700%.
Telegram, an encrypted messaging platform, reported a rise in users. It received 9 million new users between January 6 and January 10, a 91% increase from the previous week. As a result, it is currently the second most downloaded app in both the Google Play and Apple App Stores.
The biggest growth market for both apps was India. 2.3 million people watched Signal.
The biggest growth market for both apps was India. With more than 2.3 million installations, India accounted for more than 30% of new Signal installations. 16% of all Telegram instals, or 1.5 million, were made in India.
Signal’s second-largest market, with almost a million installations, was the United States.
Brian Acton, the co-founder of both apps, told TechCrunch that despite Signal’s increasing use, WhatsApp will not be replaced by it. He said that it does not and will not match all of WhatsApp’s functionality, saying that instead, people will use the two applications for separate chats.
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Acton told the source that his aim was to give people choices. Winner-take-all situations are not always the case.
WhatsApp has made an effort to allay public concerns about the privacy of its app. The company issued a statement on Monday saying, “We want to debunk rumours and make it crystal clear that we continue to protect your private messages using end-to-end encryption.”
“We want to make it clear that the updated policy will not affect the privacy of the messages you send to family and friends. Instead, this update offers optional changes to WhatsApp messaging for businesses and greater transparency around the collection and use of data. On its website, WhatsApp has a FAQ area.