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Private messaging services Signal and Telegram were the # 1 and # 2 most downloaded free apps in Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store Wednesday. The change is believed to be driven by Trump supporters looking for alternatives to traditional social media, as a way to punish companies for banning Trump for his incitement to violence.
Signal and Telegram both offer encrypted messaging, which means they scramble communications between users to protect data from third-party analysis. Encryption makes it difficult for law enforcement to monitor users.
Indeed, some the news said pro-Trump fringe groups are using Telegram to stage more protests expressly to keep their conversations private from the police.
Besides allowing people to send text messages and chats, Signal and Telegram also provide audio calling services that others have access to, if not impossible.
Facebook’s WhatsApp service, which also offers private messaging, isn’t adding users as quickly as its rivals (on Wednesday it ranked 16th in the Apple App Store and 19th in the Google Play Store) . Some users are concerned that WhatsApp is starting to share some data with its parent company.
Earlier this week, two more social media services who have become havens for supporters of Trump, Gab and MeWe, said they added hundreds of thousands of users last week. In addition to benefiting from the same turn from the conservatives of Twitter and Facebook, the sites gained users who had been left behind by the closing from Speak, another Trump-friendly site that has failed to control violent messages on his service.
Here are some more details about free messaging apps.
What is Signal?
Signal, run by the nonprofit Signal Foundation, has long been a preferred method of communication for privacy advocates and journalists. Brian Action, co-founder of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp service, is the executive chairman of the Signal Foundation.
What is Telegram?
Unlike Signal, Telegram users must enable the encryption feature before using it. The service can also accommodate group messages of up to 200,000 people against a maximum of 1,000 on Signal. Pavel Durov, a Russian entrepreneur who wasFortune List of 40 under 40 in 2018, is the CEO of Telegram.
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