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How Signal’s Popularity Peaked Overnight

NIHT

20 Feb 2021

Does Popularity Peak Overnight or It take years to make?

Signal was Co-founded by Brain Acton, also the founder of WhatsApp. A signal is an open-source encrypted messaging app, which is backed by the non-profit Signal Foundation. One thing that makes Signal different and popular from other apps is its privacy policy. The only information Signal passes about its users is the date when an account was created and the last date of the activity.

Even the encrypted messages were intercepted, it would simply look like a mess. The authorized person having the security key can decrypt the messages. All conversations are encrypted by default and can’t be turned off.

What Encouraged Signal’s Popularity?

Past few days, Signal has become the number one free app in both Apple and Google Playstore. After WhatsApp changed its privacy policies and asked its users to accept the fact that they are sharing some of the information with Facebook, it made the users bother about their privacy. The confusion around the change and the mishandling of the rollout made people worry it was just another Facebook data grab. In reply, Elon Musk tweeted out “USE SIGNAL”.

This resulted in people converging on Signal. In the week of January 5, Signal was downloaded 17.8 million times.

Signal Still An Underdog?

Despite Signal’s recent success, WhatsApp is still the most popular messaging app with more than 2 billion monthly users. On the other hand, Signal had 20 million downloads at the end of last year.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 31: Demonstrators protest in response to the recent death of George Floyd on May 31, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. Protests spread across cities in the U.S., and in other parts of the world in response to the death of African American George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

During the Black Lives Matter protests, Signal enjoyed coming into the limelight. It was more popular amongst activists, journalists, and security-minded people who liked Signal’s privacy policy and its encryption protocols. 

Privacy the USP For Signal?

It is great that people are exploring different social media platforms that properly treats personal information. The new policy of WhatsApp isn’t different from previous ones. The facts people are concerned about are indicative of how they feel about big companies like Facebook, which makes money out of selling personal information. 

On the other hand, the Signal app doesn’t show ads, it doesn’t charge as it is supported by donations and most importantly it doesn’t sell information.

Conclusion

I would like to conclude by answering the question does popularity peak overnight or it takes years to make”?

In my opinion, popularity do peaks overnight. As in Signal’s case, it had existed since February 2018, but people started to notice it after issues with WhatsApp’s policies. Now on online platforms, it doesn’t matter for how many years you existed by what matters is how you gained your popularity.

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