Signal downloads skyrocketed 4,200%

Wed. Jan. 13, 2021 |By Isobel Asher Hamilton and Grace Dean – Business Insider |

Signal downloads skyrocketed 4,200% after WhatsApp announced it would force users to share personal data with Facebook. It’s top of both Google and Apple’s app stores.

WhatsApp’s rivals got a massive boost after the messaging app announced last week that it would make users share some personal data with its parent company, Facebook.

WhatsApp told users on January 6 they would have to agree to let Facebook and its subsidiaries collect WhatsApp data — including phone numbers and locations — before February 8 or lose access to the app. WhatsApp has since clarified that this affects users only outside the European Union and the UK and said that the change “does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way.”

Data from app-analytics firm Sensor Tower shows Signal, a rival encrypted messaging service, saw an enormous surge in user numbers following WhatsApp’s announcement.

“From January 6 to January 10, Signal saw approximately 7.5 million installs globally from across the App Store and Google Play,” a Sensor Tower representative told Insider.

This represented a 4,200% increase from the previous week.

On Wednesday, the app topped both Google and Apple’s app stores in the US, according to data from App Annie, the analytics company. Fox News reported the app has been top of both stores since Monday.

The surge in downloads also coincided with Parler, the social media app popular with supporters of President Donald Trump, being forced offline. Amazon booted the app from its web-hosting service, Monday saying it “cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.”

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