Signal & Telegram See Record Growth Amid WhatsApp Privacy Concerns

Facebook AltTech Growth Privacy

In an update to their Terms of Service, the Facebook owned messenging app WhatsApp announced that they would be requiring users to consent to having their data and information shared with Facebook. As Engadget reported:

In a surprise move, WhatsApp recently gave many of its users a difficult choice: they could either accept a revised privacy policy that explicit allowed the service to share information with parent company Facebook by February 8th, or decline and risk not being able to use the service at all.

Shortly after this gathered media attention, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted “Use Signal”, is a privacy focused messenger. This caused Signal to experience rapid, record breaking growth. As Reuters reported:

Signal was downloaded by 17.8 million users over the past seven days, a 62-fold rise from the prior week, according to data from Sensor Tower. WhatsApp was downloaded by 10.6 million users during the same period, a 17% decline.

Similarly, another privacy focused messenger Telegram saw record breaking growth around this time. Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov talked about the record level growth in his Telegram channel:

In the first week of January, Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users. After that it kept growing: 25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone. These new users came from across the globe – 38% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA.

– Pavel Durov (@durov) 12 Jan 2021

Telegram ended up being the number one downloaded mobile app (overall) for the month of January according to Sensor Tower.

Sources / Relevant Material

  1. Engadget "WhatsApp: Let us share your data with Facebook or else" by Chris Velazco (7 Jan 2021)
  5. Reuters "Signal sees "unprecedented" growth after WhatsApp controversy" by Munsif Vengattil, Eva Mathews (13 Jan 2021)
  8. Trusted Reviews "WhatsApp gives users ultimatum – share data with Facebook or lose access" by Chris Smith (7 Jan 2021)
  9. Sensor Tower "Top Apps Worldwide for January 2021 by Downloads" (4 Feb 2021)