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Signal exceeds 50 million downloads on Android and Telegram passes 500 million users: yes, privacy matters

27 mayo, 2021

WhatsApp It started a few days ago to show a notice in which it informed its users of changes in their privacy conditions. In short, what you will do is share data with Facebook. Data such as the phone number of its users, account information, transaction data, metadata, interactions on the platform, device information …

Only users from the European Union will be saved from these new rules thanks to the RGPD; for the rest there is no escape: the changes come into effect on February 8 and accepting them is necessary to continue using the service.

The controversy with WhatsApp is showing that the privacy of your communications and your personal data matters to users

This umpteenth controversy about Facebook and its services has come to show that, to a greater or lesser extent, privacy matters to users. More than a few years ago, probably, and we do not know if in such a profound way that it causes a remarkable exodus from WhatsApp.

What we do know is that the visible head of the application had to go to Twitter to try to put out the fire and that interest in Telegram and Signal, its main rivals, has increased considerably in recent days.

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Telegram got 25 million users in 72 hours, a record

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Pavel Durov, head of Telegram, announced this week that the instant messaging service exceeded 500 million monthly active users during the first weeks of this month of January.

The most interesting, however, has been what has happened in the hours after the culmination of the controversy over the new conditions of use of WhatsApp.

Telegram added 25 million users in just 72 hours when the controversy over privacy on WhatsApp was at its highest

25 million users joined Telegram in just 72 hours. 38% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA. And this is how Durov referred to this fact in the message published on his channel:

“This is a significant increase compared to last year, when 1.5 million new users signed up every day. We have had waves of downloads before, throughout our 7-year history of protecting user privacy. But this time it’s different. “

It’s different, he said, because “People no longer want to trade their privacy for free services”. A clear reference to WhatsApp and the controversy. “They no longer want to be hostage to tech monopolies who seem to think they can get away with it as long as their applications have a critical mass of users. […] Unlike other popular applications, Telegram has no shareholders or advertisers to inform, “he continued. The differences between one and the other are not minor.

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Signal collapsed its verification system after a tweet from Elon Musk

Image representing the security of a PIN code

On the other hand, Signal has been another great beneficiary of the controversy that is surrounding the Facebook instant messaging application.

Especially after a concise tweet by businessman Elon Musk in which he said, simply, “use Signal”. It did not take more for many users to launch to install the application and even for perhaps unsuspecting shareholders to buy shares in a company with “Signal” in the name and that has nothing to do with it. Edward Snowden, by the way, retweeted Musk.

Around 40 million Signal downloads have occurred in the last few days from the Android app store alone

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Shortly after the message was posted, the Signal team also posted on Twitter warned about what could not properly send verification codes because “a lot of new people are trying to join Signal right now.” Several of its providers were being affected by this barrage of new users. It took several hours for everyone to regain normalcy.

Although those responsible for Signal have not published the number of new users who have officially added if they have taken advantage of a meme on Twitter to underline what in the Google Play Store they already exceed 50 million downloads. By the date of the last update that appears in the screenshots, it can be estimated that around 40 million downloads have occurred in the Android application store as a result of the changes in WhatsApp and the support of Musk via tweet.

According to Sensor Tower data collected by EngadgetIn previous days, the week of January 6 to 10, Signal has registered about 7.5 million new installations between lGoogle Play and the App Store.