WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the instant messaging applications most used by the French. In 2020, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network largely dominated the smartphone messaging market. This year, Facebook’s hegemony is threatened by the emergence of competing solutions that are more respectful of user privacy, such as Signal or Telegram.
On January 19, 2021, Statista, the German statistics specialist, published a study on the most popular mobile messaging applications in France in 2020. Not surprisingly, messaging services developed by Facebook come well ahead.
“Despite the emergence of several competing platforms and the growing dissatisfaction of some of its users, Facebook still largely dominates the Western instant messaging market” explains Statista. So, Facebook Messenger holds 79% of the market share, compared to 61% for WhatsApp. As a reminder, WhatsApp was bought by Facebook in 2014 for $ 16 billion.
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In 2021, Facebook’s hegemony is threatened by Signal and Telegram
Far behind WhatsApp and Messenger, we find Telegram. The Russian messaging app only represents 5% of users in France. Finally, Signal, the messaging developed by Signal Foundation, a non-profit organization, brings up the rear with only 2% of the market share in France.
Still, the trend may be reversing, Statista points out in another chart. Between January 7 and 17, 2021, WhatsApp saw a sharp drop in its daily downloads. Less than a million users download WhatsApp daily.
In parallel, Signal and Telegram record explosion in downloads. During this same period, an average of 2.63 million users installed the Signal app every day. Signal quickly became the most downloaded app on Android and iOS around the world. For its part, Telegram was downloaded on average by 2.23 million Internet users.
This turnaround is no accident. In early January 2021, WhatsApp announced a major update to its terms of service. The application now grants itself the right to share conversations between a company and a user with Facebook. This announcement provoked the anger of Internet users and a real hemorrhage of users. Faced with the discontent of users, WhatsApp preferred to postpone the entry into force of data sharing until May 2021.