Signal sees meteoric rise in daily installs as people look for WhatsApp alternatives

by Reuters
Monday, 11 January 2021 19:56 GMT

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to logos of social media apps Signal, Whatsapp and Telegram projected on a screen in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Image Caption and Rights Information

Secure messaging app Signal is gaining millions of new users after rival WhatsApp said it will start sharing users' data with Facebook

Jan 11 (Reuters) - The number of new users installing messaging app Signal every day is on track to cross 1 million, putting it closer to levels seen by larger rival WhatsApp, following an update to the Facebook Inc-owned app's privacy policy.

About 810,000 users globally installed Signal on Sunday, nearly 18-fold compared with the download numbers on Jan. 6, the day WhatsApp updated its privacy terms, according to data from research firm Apptopia.

WhatsApp's new privacy terms reserve the right to share user data, including location and phone number, with its parent Facebook Inc and units such as Instagram and Messenger.

Privacy advocates have questioned the move citing Facebook's track record in handling user data, with many suggesting users to migrate to platforms such as Telegram and Signal.

To cope with the number of new users, Signal said on Sunday it had added more servers to handle the traffic. Up until recently, the non-profit app was largely used by journalists and human rights activists looking for a more secure and encrypted mode of communication.

WhatsApp, which saw a 7% decline in daily installs on Sunday compared with Wednesday, was downloaded by nearly 1.2 million users on Jan. 10, according to Apptopia. (Reporting by Eva Mathews and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Themes