Message platforms Signal and Telegram have realized a huge number in downloads across the world following a controversial change in WhatsApp’s terms and conditions(T&Cs).
WhatsApp has informed its two billion users they must allow it to share data with its parent company Facebook if they wish to continue using it. The change does not apply to users in the UK and Europe.
However, the notification has been sent to everyone. All WhatsApp users will be unable to continue with the service unless they accept the new terms by 8 February.
According to data from analytics firm Sensor Tower, Signal was downloaded globally 246,000 times the week before WhatsApp announced the change on 4 January, and 8.8 million times the week after.
This included big surges in India, where downloads went from 12,000 to 2.7 million, the UK (from 7,400 to 191,000) and the US (63,000 to 1.1 million).
In a series of tweets, Signal said some people were reporting issues with creating groups and delays to verification codes arriving because of the rapid expansion but that it was solving the issues.
“Our new servers are ready to serve you,” it said on 10 January.
Even though we're still breaking records, verification codes are back in the groove. Delivery delays have been eliminated across multiple cellular providers, so things should be more ASAP when you join the app.— Signal (@signalapp) January 9, 2021
We continue to shatter traffic records and add capacity as more and more people come to terms with how much they dislike Facebook's new terms. If you weren't able to create a new group recently, please try again. New servers are ready to serve you.— Signal (@signalapp) January 10, 2021
Telegram has proved even more popular, with downloads booming globally from 6.5 million for the week beginning 28 December to 11 million over the following week.
Both Telegram and Signal also offer free-to-use encrypted messaging services.