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After Elon Musk boost, Signal loses momentum to Telegram and WhatsApp in daily downloads

The euphoria around moving to WhatsApp’s alternative seems to have settled down. Ever since WhatsApp introduced its new privacy policy on January 6, users across the world have been furious and exploring other messaging platforms such as Signal and Telegram. 

While Telegram had managed a decent presence in the Indian market, according to Sensor tower data, Signal started getting more downloads than WhatsApp and Telegram in the country between January 6 and January 10, thanks to a tweet endorsement by Tesla founder Elon Musk on January 7. 

Signal was downloaded around 15.5 million times during the period in which India contributed the highest with 9 million installs. During the same period, Telegram and WhatsApp were at the second and third spot with 9.3 million and 7.4  million installs, globally.

The Musk effect rocketed Signal’s downloads and helped it maintain its lead over its two competitors between January 6 to January 29 but the US-based messaging platform recorded a steep fall in the number of downloads in the last 4-5 days. According to Sensor Tower data, Telegram got a lead over WhatsApp and Signal between January 25 and January 29 with 7.8 million app installs. 

With WhatsApp’s daily downloads now back to normal with 7.4 million downloads, Signal recorded only 3 million downloads during the period. 

India was the largest contributor for all three apps in terms of the number of downloads.

In terms of total downloads between January 6 and January 29, Signal registered 60 million downloads followed by Telegram and WhatsApp with 43 million and 32 million installs respectively.

The downloads trends since the pushback around WhatsApp’s privacy policy, which has now been delayed till May 2021, shows that Signal and Telegram have been able to grab the opportunity by claiming the rebound attention. However, Signal has started losing momentum and it appears that users are unwilling to migrate from WhatsApp to other platforms permanently.

With over 450 million daily active users or MAU, India is one of the largest markets for WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned platform had introduced its new privacy policy with a deadline of February 8 for users to accept the new terms but was forced to delay its implementation after a huge backlash over privacy concerns.

WhatsApp has been maintaining that it doesn’t share users contacts as well as UPI transaction data with its parent company Facebook.

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