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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Indians switching to multiple messaging apps, no longer limited to just WhatsApp: study

Using multiple messaging apps instead of a singular primary messaging tool accelerated in India after the confusion over WhatsApp's new privacy policy, which lead to a lot of people trying rival apps like Telegram and Signal for the first time.

By: Tech Desk | Mumbai |
February 10, 2021 4:39:38 pm
WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Snapchat,The study suggests that over a third of active messaging users will continue to use both rival apps WhatsApp and Telegram. (Express photo)

Indian users are slowly picking up the trend of using multiple messaging apps to converse, rather than sticking to just one, according to a user insights research by techARC. The study, which looked at over 2000 participants showed that Indian users are prefer multiple platforms, based on their unique feature-sets and communication apps such as Telegram and Signal as gaining popularity.

While WhatsApp has had 53 percent of its users for over 3 years now, rival app Telegram has gained most of its users in the same 3 years. Signal, on the other hand, has gained about 47 percent of its users in just the last 1 year, shows the survey.

“Though there is a clear first-mover advantage for WhatsApp, users are increasingly signing up other platforms like Telegram and Signal for their unique features and better security they offer.  With this future of messaging apps in India is going to be pluralistic in nature,” Faisal Kawoosa, Founder & Chief Analyst, techARC said in a press statement.

Indians are using multiple apps for multiple use-cases

The research also showed that there is no clear-cut ‘primary’ messaging app and that users communicate via multiple apps, many times a day. This has likely amplified since last month, when WhatsApp’s new policy created a privacy scare, opening the doors for people to try out rival communication apps like Telegram and Signal in masses.

People also have a definite reason to use these multiple apps, suggests the research, which shows that over 85 percent of the respondents had a specific purpose for each app.

Over 32 percent of the respondents use Telegram to send critical/secret messages. Meanwhile, over 45 percent of the users are apprehensive of WhatsApp’s privacy as per media reports.

However, 81 percent of the users are still confident regarding the privacy and security offered by WhatsApp. Over 70 percent of respondents also said that they will continue using both WhatsApp and Telegram.

Why are users using Telegram standalone/alongside WhatsApp

A fifth of users, however, revealed that they prefer Telegram over WhatsApp. This was attributed to various features the app offered, including Telegram’s privacy, channels, large group support and many other features.

The ability to create groups of up to 2,00,000 members was the primary reason for most of the respondents, while the second was the ability to share large files. Telegram is also gaining popularity as a medium of education. 78 percent of the users find educational content on Telegram, while 49 percent of the Telegram users are part of a regional group sharing content in the native language, revealed the study.

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