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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Telegram Messenger topped the rankings for the most downloaded apps in January 2021, overtaking TikTok, Signal and Facebook, app data provider Sensor Tower said.
In total, Telegram was downloaded 63 million times during the month, 3.8 times more than the same period last year. Users in India and Indonesia downloaded the app the most, accounting for 24% and 10% of that total, respectively.
Telegram has become something of a haven for millions of instant messaging users after WhatsApp announced a new policy that would require data sharing with parent company Facebook.
After a concert of concerns raised by users following the announcement, and due to Facebook’s tarnished privacy record, WhatsApp has announced that it will delay adoption of the new policy from February to May. Representatives of the app argue that there have been widespread misunderstandings and misinformation about the implications of the new policy.
Sensor Tower data shows Telegram and Signal downloads spike at the start of the new year when the announcement was first made.
Another factor could be the social media gag order imposed on then US President Donald Trump following the storming of Capitol Hill on January 6. Deprived of its favorite spokesperson on Twitter, and temporarily banned from Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, Telegram became one of the few places where the besieged Trump still had an official presence.
After the app gained popularity, the Safer Web Coalition filed a lawsuit against Apple urging it to remove Telegram Messenger from its App Store, arguing that it is being used as a platform to proliferate violent and extremist views. Pavel Durov, the developer of the app, said moderators cracked down on hundreds of public calls for violence following the storming of the Capitol.