NEW DELHI: As WhatsApp started sending notifications to over 400 million users in India last week asking them to either accept its new policy or see their accounts removed from February 8, it came as a blessing in disguise for its rivals as Signal and Telegram saw over 40 lakh new users signing up within a couple of days, and the number is fast growing.
According to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower, Signal led the pack with over 23 lakh new downloads between January 6 and January 10 while Telegram clocked more than 16 lakh new downloads in the same period.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp’s downloads fell by 35 per cent over the January 6 to January 10 time-period, with 1.3 million new downloads.
Between January 1 to January 5, WhatsApp had clocked 2 million new downloads.
The rush to join Signal was so high that it led to overload on its servers.
“Verification codes are currently delayed across several providers because so many new people are trying to join Signal right now (we can barely register our excitement). We are working with carriers to resolve this as quickly as possible. Hang in there,” Signal had tweeted.
The encrypted messaging service also climbed to the top spot in the free apps category of the App Store in multiple countries, including India.
The official Twitter handle of Signal shared a screenshot, showing it placed above WhatsApp at the top spot in India.
“Look what you have done,” it tweeted.
Along with India, it became the top downloaded app in Germany, France, Austria, Finland, Hong Kong, and Switzerland as well.
Signal earlier saw a significant surge in new users signing up for its platform after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted to his 41.5 million followers to use Signal and apparently shun WhatsApp.