Home >Technology >News >Signal logs in 26.4 million downloads in India in less than two weeks

NEW DELHI : Privacy-focused messaging app Signal recorded a whopping 26.4 million downloads from India between 4 January and 17 January, according to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Signal and competitor Telegram have been topping the charts in Apple and Google’s app stores ever since WhatsApp changed its terms of service (ToS) on 6 January.

Telegram had recorded 9.1 million downloads between 4 and 17 January, a 160% jump from the previous period. WhatsApp too got 5 million new downloads from India during this period.

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WhatsApp hadn’t seen a drop in usage despite widespread unrest, the platform's global head, Will Cathcart, said in an interview with Mint on 17 January. The company had announced, on 16 January, that it would delay the new update, which will lead to sharing of data from interactions between users and businesses, to May this year. The update was earlier slated to come into effect on 8 February.

The Indian government has written to WhatsApp on Tuesday, asking the platform to withdraw the changes altogether. The government said, in the letter, that not giving users a choice to opt out of such policies raised “grave concerns regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens". Delhi High Court had on Monday said using WhatsApp is a “voluntary thing" and users had the choice to not join the platform if they didn’t agree with its ToS.

“It is a private app. Don’t join it. It is a voluntary thing. Don’t accept it. Use some other app," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva told a petitioner who had challenged WhatsApp’s new privacy policy in court.

The Facebook-owned app has faced flak from many users since the change to its terms and conditions. Many thought the update meant WhatsApp would share data from private interactions with its parent company, while the company reiterated that only interactions with businesses are affected by the change to its policy.

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