New Delhi– Amid the brouhaha over new and controversial WhatsApp privacy policy that is set to come into force from May 15, privacy-focused messaging app Signal became the fastest-growing app globally, including in India, both in downloads and monthly active users (MAUs) in the first quarter last year, according to a new report.

Another encrypted messaging app Telegram was at the third spot in downloads and number two in MAUs, according to data provided by app analytics firm App Annie.

Signal is gaining immense popularity owing to its simplicity and focus on privacy.

People are switching to Signal in record numbers because companies who sell ads have a harder time focusing on the things that users actually want.

The upcoming WhatsApp privacy policy has actually helped Signal and Telegram grow their user base. Facing a backlash in February, WhatsApp deferred its new data privacy policy by three months that is reported to be sharing users’ data with Facebook (which the company has denied).

According to App Annie, the top apps by downloads, consumer spend and MAU across Apple App Store and Google Play were TikTok, YouTube and Facebook in the January-March quarter.

Homegrown app MX Takatak, a local alternative to TikTok, was also seen as the fastest growing app by downloads in the quarter.

TikTok led the top downloads chart, followed by Facebook and Instagram.

Today, from Edward Snowden to the Black Lives Matter Foundation to Melania Trump, all use Signal. Activists use Signal to coordinate protests, finance professionals to exchange sensitive information, journalists to communicate with sources, etc.

Telegram recently claimed it gained 100 million new users who weren’t happy with WhatsApp’s upcoming privacy changes in May. (IANS)