WhatsApp downloads decline by 80% in India after Spygate row

WhatsApp downloads dipped by 80% in India from October 26 and November 3 after Spygate row, reported Business Standard

Representational image
Representational image

NH Web Desk

WhatsApp downloads dipped by 80 per cent in India from October 26 and November 3, from the previous nine-day period, according to data sourced from mobile analytics and intelligence firm Sensor Tower, reported Business Standard.

The week before the Whatsapp spygate row, i.e.October 17-25, the number was 8.9 million. Whereas it was 1.8 million between October 26-November 3

Signal, an end-to-end encrypted messaging app, witnessed 63% increase in downloads in India. Whereas, Telegram downloads rose 10% to 920,000.

According to the report in Business Standard, These figures represent unique downloads, defined as "one download per Apple ID or Google account, not including re-installs, installs to multiple devices owned by the same account, or app updates," according to Sensor Tower.

Facebook owned WhatsApp on October 29 said it was suing NSO Group for selling its software, Pegasus, which has the ability to compromise a device and get access to all of a target’s data. The software exploited a loophole in WhatsApp's video calling feature. that could let the buyer get access to a person's phone or device data.

"Pegasus was designed, in part, to intercept communications sent to and from a device, including communications over iMessage, Skype, Telegram, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and others,” said Whatsapp in its legal complaint against NSO Group, WhatsApp said.

According to a report in Business Standard, Anupam Manur, assistant professor at Bengaluru-based The Takshashila Institution, "This data (number of downloads in the last 9 days) only tell us of the rate of onboarding of new users. Not really if people are switching.”

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Published: 6 Nov 2019, 11:50 AM