Sensor Tower said that in the first four months of 2021, Signal saw its first-time downloads growing 1,192 percent year-over-year (YoY) to 64.4 million worldwide, while Telegram’s installs surged 98 percent YoY to over 161 million. This was unlike WhatsApp installs globally that dipped 43 percent YoY to 172.3 million in the January–April period.
Signal installs in January grew 5,001 percent YoY to 50.6 million from 992,000 in the same month last year. However, the installs count fell 86 percent month-over-month to a little more than seven million.
“Although its installs have declined each month since the January spike, Signal is experiencing consistent Y/Y growth each month,” the firm said in a blog post.
Signal saw 2.8 million downloads globally in April, according to Sensor Tower data. It was more than double the 1.3 million downloads reported in April 2020.
Similar to Signal, Telegram downloads grew 283 percent YoY to 63.5 million from 16.6 million. The app, however, saw a three percent YoY dip in its downloads in April — reaching 26.2 million as compared to nearly 27 million a year earlier.
The data released by Sensor Tower shows that both Signal and Telegram saw a drop in their download velocity shortly after gaining some growth in January. Nevertheless, the apps were able to give a tough fight to WhatsApp that still leads the market of instant messaging platforms.
“The decline in its installs throughout 2020 was possibly due to potential new users — eager to communicate with friends and loved ones — opting for the desktop or Web version of WhatsApp while sheltering in place,” Sensor Tower said.