By Zachary Stieber
The Telegram messaging app was the top non-game app downloaded worldwide in January.
Analysis firm Sensor Tower’s chart shows Telegram at the top of overall downloads and downloads through Google Play.
Video application TikTok was second overall and on top of the Apple store’s downloads.
Signal, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Zoom, MX TakaTak, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger rounded out the overall top 10.
Telegram rose from number 9 in December 2020 to number 1. Telegram’s 63 million installs in January equaled 3.8 times its downloaded from January 2020, according to SensorTower.
TikTok, the most downloaded non-game app in December of last year, dropped one slot, while Facebook dropped two slots and WhatsApp dropped two slots.
Telegram founder Pavel Durov touted the app’s rise on his channel, saying the company’s secret has been consistency.
“For the last 7.5 years we’ve consistently defended the privacy of our users and regularly improved the quality and feature set of our apps. Anyone who stays true to their values and applies focused effort over a long period of time is bound to succeed in their area. This is true for any human occupation—sport, blogging, art, coding, business or studying,” he wrote.
Telegram, which said it gained 90 million new users in January, described itself as a messaging app with a focus on speed and security. The free app also allows users to create groups of up to 200,000 people and supports video calls and video chats.
Signal’s rise was also dramatic, as it was not in the top 10 the previous month.
The encrypted messaging service, endorsed by U.S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, is run by an independent nonprofit. It’s also free and has no advertisements.
Both services are competitors to Facebook’s WhatsApp, which has dealt with concerns about privacy.
WhatsApp and Messenger remain influential, though. They are used by nearly 2 billion people around the world, according to data tracking company Apptopia. Telegram has 46 million daily users and Signal has 13 million, the company said.
“WhatsApp and Messenger are so large that they are still going to maintain those users that are not concerned with privacy, and continue to attract those that don’t feel strongly on the matter. They are convenient apps to keep in touch with Grandma, for instance, and that won’t change,” an Apptopia spokesperson told Fortune.
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