WhatsApp alternatives Telegram, Signal become top downloaded apps in South Africa

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Following the announcement of changes to its privacy policy, WhatsApp alternatives Telegram Messenger and Signal became the top downloaded apps in South Africa.

This is according to data by SensorTower, which tracks the top charts of app downloads across the App Store and Google Play Store.

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The changes to WhatsApp’s terms became widely known as users received prompts to accept the new privacy policy on 7 January.

Meanwhile, media across the world began reporting on what the new terms mean for users — especially regarding sharing data with Facebook.

As such, many users threatened to boycott WhatsApp. Users must either accept the new terms by 8 February or they will no longer be able to use the app.

Users across social media weighed in, with alternatives Signal and Telegram trending.

Tech billionaire and newly named world’s richest person Elon Musk even encouraged followers to use Signal.

Edward Snowden has also come out in support of the app.

WhatsApp alternatives Signal and Telegram top charts

The messaging apps have topped download charts in multiple countries, including South Africa.

On 7 January, neither app even appeared in the top 20 for Google Play. In fact, Telegram appeared at number 40, while Signal did not even appear in the top 200.

By 8 January, Telegram rose to number 10 while Signal rose to number 93 in South Africa.

It was on 9 January that Telegram became the top downloaded app in South Africa. Signal placed number 4 on the same day.

From 10 to 12 January, Telegram and Signal have ranked at first and second place respectively.

The App Store rankings showed an even quicker rise for the apps. Telegram has held the spot for the most downloaded app since 7 January.

Meanwhile, Signal has held second place since 8 January.

Feature image: Memeburn via Canva

Read more: WhatsApp: What to know about the new forced data-sharing terms (Updated with Facebook response)

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