Home / Tech / News / Signal witnesses 26.4 million downloads in India in just about two weeks

Signal witnesses 26.4 million downloads in India in just about two weeks

FILE - This Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, file photo, shows the Signal encrypted messaging app loading on a smartphone in Paris. In early January 2021, encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram are seeing huge upticks in downloads from Apple and Google's app stores, while WhatsApp's growth is on the decline following a privacy fiasco where the company was forced to clarify a message it sent to users. (AP Photo/Raphael Satter, File) FILE - This Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, file photo, shows the Signal encrypted messaging app loading on a smartphone in Paris. In early January 2021, encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram are seeing huge upticks in downloads from Apple and Google's app stores, while WhatsApp's growth is on the decline following a privacy fiasco where the company was forced to clarify a message it sent to users. (AP Photo/Raphael Satter, File)
FILE - This Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, file photo, shows the Signal encrypted messaging app loading on a smartphone in Paris. In early January 2021, encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram are seeing huge upticks in downloads from Apple and Google's app stores, while WhatsApp's growth is on the decline following a privacy fiasco where the company was forced to clarify a message it sent to users. (AP Photo/Raphael Satter, File) (AP)

According to Sensor Tower data, Signal has seen 26.4 million downloads between January 4 and January 17. Telegram has clocked 9.1 million downloads in India over the same time while WhatsApp saw 5 million new downloads.

A lot has happened on the messaging app front since January 6. It all started with WhatsApp’s new privacy policy that got users worried about the privacy of their chats and data. This lead to many users choosing to migrate to other messaging apps that have better privacy tenets in place than WhatsApp, particularly Signal and Telegram.

According to Sensor Tower data, Signal clocked in a whopping 26.4 million downloads in India between January 4 and January 17. On the other hand, Telegram clocked 9.1 million downloads over the same time period. Telegram has also been topping the charts on Apple and Google app stores since January 6.

Despite people’s apprehensions though, WhatsApp has still seen new downloads clocking in 5 million over the January 4 to January 17 time span.

Also Read: Signal won’t replace WhatsApp, says founder Brain Acton

WhatsApp’s global head Will Cathcart told Mint in an interview that the Facebook-owned messaging platform had not seen a drop in usage despite the user backlash. The company announced on January 16 that they would be delaying the push out of the new update till May instead of February 8 as previously scheduled. The new update will have WhatsApp sharing data and chats between users and businesses on WhatsApp, this does not apply to private and personal chats.

Amidst all this, the Indian government has written a letter to WhatsApp asking them to withdraw these changes altogether. The government wrote that not giving users an option to opt out of such policies raised “grave concerns regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens”.

The Delhi High Court said on Monday that using WhatsApp is voluntary and users have the choice to not use the platform if they do not agree with the Terms of Service.

“It is a private app. Don’t join it. It is a voluntary thing, don’t accept it. Use some other app," said Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, to a petitioner who had challenged WhatsApp’s new privacy policy in court.

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