Telegram was the most downloaded non-gaming app in January

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Image Credit: NBC NEWS

Telegram alongside Signal remain the two biggest gainers from the short-term issue suffered by WhatsApp in the last couple of weeks. Recall that millions of users had switched from WhatsApp in protest against the Facebook-owned app’s new privacy policy, which has now been suspended. Millions had rushed to download alternate apps like Signal and Telegram; and this may have helped the later to gain more installs.

According to Sensortower, Telegram was the most downloaded non-gaming app in the month of January 2021. The chat app owned by Pavel Durov, recorded more than 63 million installs in the first month of the year. This was 3.8 times its total downloads in the corresponding month in 2020. In India, Telegram had 24 percent of the total download for the period in review, followed by Indonesia with 10 percent.

TikTok came second with 62 million installs, with Douyin in China recording 17 percent, and followed by the US with 10 percent. Of notable mention are Signal, Facebook, and WhatsApp; rounding up the top five non-gaming apps globally for the month of January.

Top Apps Worldwide for January 2021 by Downloads
Image Credit: Sensortower

Seeing that it was beginning to lose millions of its users as a result of its new privacy policy, WhatsApp embarked on massing campaigns to convince users. In January, the company invested heavily on newspaper ads in India to educate users on its now suspended policy.

In one of several newspaper ads the company paid for, the Facebook-owned app wrote: “WhatsApp cannot see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook: Every private message, photo, video, voice message, and document you send to your friends, family, and co-workers in one-on-one or group chats is protected by end-to-end encryption,” the message reads. “It stays between you.”

In another of the newspaper ad, Facebook said: “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA.” This sounds like a desperate attempt at salvaging a bad situation as a result of the backlash.

Shortly after WhatsApp introduced the new policy, millions of users started switching from the chat app to Signal. In India, Signal was the most downloaded free chat app both on iOS and Android. Between January 5 and January 12, Signal recorded more than 7 million downloads.

Telegram, WhatsApp’s biggest rival in India, had a 40 percent surge in downloads. In contrast, WhatsApp recorded a 30 percent drop in download during the same period in review.

In the first week of January, Telegram surpassed 500 million monthly active users. After that it kept growing: 25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone. These new users came from across the globe – 38% from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA,” Pavel wrote in his Telegram channel.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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