WhatsApp continues to grow, but Signal is booming

There has been no escape from WhatsApp, but the growth of competing apps should worry the Facebook group: here are the numbers.

Despite the huge controversy around the world caused by the new privacy policy, which comes into force on May 15, WhatsApp continues to gain new users but, at the same time, many more (in percentage) gain the two main alternatives to WhatsApp: Signal and Telegram. This is what emerges from reading the latest SensorTower data, related to the sum of the downloads of the three apps from the Play Store and the App Store.

To put it in a joke: no one escapes from WhatsApp, but many are starting to try the alternative apps. And not only because of the new privacy management, which will soon limit WhatsApp's functions to all those who don't accept it, but also because alternative apps (Telegram in primis) now offer many more functions not only than WhatsApp, but even other innovative apps like Clubhouse. In short: WhatsApp still has a very strong position, resulting from the fact that it has over 2 billion users worldwide, but the other apps are doing much more to develop new features. Everyone still has WhatsApp, but WhatsApp is starting to get old compared to competing apps.

WhatsApp Vs Telegram Vs Signal: the numbers

From January to April 2021, WhatsApp app downloads increased in absolute numbers, but decreased in percentage compared to the same period last year: 172.3 new downloads, which however is 43% less than the previous reporting period. Looking at the absolute numbers WhatsApp wins over Telegram (+162 million downloads) and overwhelmingly wins over Signal (+65 million downloads, 51 of which in January alone).

If we look at the percentages of growth, and thus looking ahead a few years, things change: WhatsApp -43%, Telegram +98% and Signal +1200%. It's clear, though, that WhatsApp already has so many users that it can't grow by 1,200% in a year (i.e. by 12 times): it should reach over 20 billion users, three times the population of the planet.

Why Telegram and Signal are growing more

In addition to the demographic data, which plays havoc with WhatsApp's growth rate, there are also the merits of the other apps to justify the success of Telegram and Signal.

Telegram, in particular, has launched a flurry of very important innovations in recent months: group video calls, in-app payments, voice chats, voice chat scheduling. Signal, on the other hand, has played very well with communication by making it clear to users that, data in hand, it is the most privacy-friendly chat app.