The debate over WhatsApp vs Signal is not to going to stop anytime soon.
After much hullabaloo over Whatsapp’s changed privacy policies to share data with its parent company Facebook, in the past month many fled from the popular instant messaging app and joined Signal which is a more privacy-focused platform.
But, now that the conversation around the world’s largest messaging app interfering with user privacy, it seems like Indian users do not consider the Signal app a worthy replacement for WhatsApp.
Also, note here that WhatsApp downloads in India, something which visibly declined while that of Signal surged, has gained back its momentum to 2.8 million/week, thus showing how the Facebook-owned communication platform continues to hold the title for the ‘most go-to chat application’ in the country.
Since January 2014, the facebook-owned instant messaging app has been downloaded a whopping 1.4 billion times and has over 400 million users in the country as per the latest estimates.
Currently, industry experts believe that a significant chunk of users are now ‘multi-homing’ as they have been using WhatsApp for far too long and it is difficult to let go of the platform which still serves as a mainstream communication platform for their personal and professional networks.
Also, Vivek Pathak, Director at consulting firm RedSeer pointed out that the upcoming six months will be extremely crucial when it comes to finding out how users are adapting to the newer messaging platforms and if they are willing to permanently move away from WhatsApp.
According to him, while users continue to use WhatsApp, many are still exploring more of Telegram and Signal on the side in order to figure out which suits them better and will most likely be used by their friends and family as well.
Nonetheless, all in all, sharp fall in the download momentum of the Signal app suggests that WhatsApp is a long way from being dethroned as the most widely used chat app in India.
When reached out for a comment regarding the same, Signal’s head of growth and communication Jun Harda said that the company doesn’t disclose user numbers publicly and therefore won’t be able to share specifics. But, he added that download numbers are generally underreported by third-party app data companies.