Study confirms rivals took advantage of WhatsApp problems

The year 2021 started badly for WhatsApp, which had a controversy to grapple with. As a reminder, the messaging service announced a change to its terms of use that annoyed many users. And some have preferred to turn to alternatives such as Telegram or Signal.

In previous articles, back in the beginning of the year, we discussed the signs of a massive influx of users to these two apps. And today we have data from the Sensor Tower company that better illustrates this exodus.

According to this data, the number of installations of the Telegram application would have increased by 98% to 161 million installations in the first months of 2021. Signal saw a 1,192% year-over-year increase to 64.6 million. WhatsApp reportedly saw the number of installs of its mobile application decrease 43% between January and April.

“Telegram and Signal both peaked in January, but their download speeds have slowed since then. In January Telegram reached 63.5 million downloads, an increase of 283% over the previous year of 16.6 million. The installs have declined from month to month since that initial surge, and downloads in April were down 3% year over year, reaching 26.2 million versus nearly 27 million last year, ”we read in the Sensor Tower report.

Signal also saw the largest increase in January. In total, Signal has been downloaded more than 50 million times, an increase of 5,001% over January 2020. Signal then also saw a slowdown as the app only had 7 million downloads in February.

According to Sensor Tower: “Although installations have shrunk every month since the January peak, Signal has grown steadily every month from last year. There were 2.8 million downloads worldwide in April, more than double the 1.3 million in April 2020. “

Signal is aimed at the general public

Note that Signal has been around for years but has always been viewed as a niche app for journalists, activists, etc. who want to benefit from increased confidentiality. In addition, this is an app that was already recommended by Edward Snowden. Currently, the service (which is funded by donations) wants to expand its goal by reaching out to the general public.

And Signal is regularly given new functions. For example, recently we learned that the application’s developer is testing a new feature that will allow pictures to be shared in 4K without changing quality (a feature that is not yet available in WhatsApp when shared pictures are systematically compressed to they limit data usage).

It is recalled that WhatsApp refused to apply its new Terms of Service earlier this year. Still, Facebook’s messaging service hasn’t completely abandoned this controversial project.

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