Signal, the encrypted messaging app, has seen 1.4 million downloads in just the first quarter of 2017—roughly twice the downloads it received in the same period last year. Rani Molla at Recode attributes this to Donald Trump's inauguration, as the private messaging service saw a 40% increase in US downloads between Election Day and the end of the first quarter of 2017.
According to App Annie, the company that supplies data for apps, both Android and iOS downloads for Signal have nearly doubled since last year, leading to a total of 2.2 million downloads combined.
Signal is an app that never stores any of your data, and ensures that even its servers can't access your communications by using end-to-end encryption on all messages. This makes Signal the perfect messaging app companion to those worried about the government gaining access to personal data.
Based on Molla's findings on App Annie, the day of Trump's inauguration led to a 400% increase for Signal's app downloads:
Trump's inauguration was the most popular download day for Signal, which was the 19th most-downloaded iOS app.
Since then, Signal has managed to buoy itself in the top 50, making it "the 50th most-downloaded iOS app."
Amir Ghodrati, App Annie Director of Market Insights, calls this the "network effect." As more people download Signal, so will the friends of Signal users, creating a need for others to also download Signal—or fear missing out.