Indian Users Do Not Find Signal App A Worthy Replacement For WhatsApp!

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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.

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According to recent data shared by the app analytics firm Sensor Towers, after Elon Musk endorsed Signal on Twitter, the privacy-focused messaging app observed a surge in India downloads to nine million for two straight weeks in the month of January. But, soon after the Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced the delayed rollout of its updated privacy policy, Signal app downloads fell to 2.5 million per week and then to 7,50,000 and 450,000 in the next two weeks.

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.

Commenting about the decline in Signal app’s download, Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights at Sensor Tower said that this most likely hints at the dampening of the initial surge in adoption of WhatsApp alternatives as many who were concerned about the privacy policy changes made a hasty decision to explore other platforms immediately after the news broke.

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.

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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.

1 COMMENT

  1. Does these two need any comparison? Ofc Signal is much better in its security and whatsapp has a better look. But it’s nothing if you look for a real private app for chatting. Then you have to check messengers like Telegram or Utopia p2p. It all depends on the fuctions you’re looking for and something will suit you perfectly, I’m sure.

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