Aarogya Setu, the contact tracing app dubbed as e-pass by the Indian government, has reached 50 million users. On Tuesday night, the app reached the milestone of 50 million users. It took the app only 13 days and 11 million of those users joined the platform in a single day. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to download the app during his third televised address, the app saw an increase in download and use. Also Read - Coronavirus: Here is how you can help defeat the pandemic with your smartphone while sleeping
According to the Niti Aayog team, the app saw 99 percent of downloads on Android. It overtook Pokemon Go, the popular AR game developed by Niantic. The popular augmented reality game took 19 days to reach 50 million downloads on the Google Play Store when it launched in 2016. On Tuesday morning, the download reportedly surged from 39 million to a peak of 100,000 per minute. This was mainly driven by the televised address from PM Modi at 10AM IST on Tuesday where he urged people to download the app. Also Read - Apple and Netflix are the most imitated brands for phishing attack during COVID-19 lockdown: Check Point Research
Aarogya Setu sets new download record
By midnight of Tuesday, the app reached a new milestone of 50 million downloads. The app was launched on April 2 as a way to alert authorities about the risk of exposure. “We expected to touch 50 million users by April 15, but reached it a day before,” Arnab Kumar, programme director of frontier technologies, Niti Aayog was quoted by Hindustan Times. Also Read - Government launches Coronavirus tracker app called ‘Aarogya Setu’: Here is how it works
“There were 11 million downloads on Tuesday, which is the sharpest single-day surge in installations since the app was launched. PM Modi’s announcement led to a spike that peaked at 100,000 registrations per minute in the afternoon, at around 20,000 downloads per minute on average over the rest of the day,” he added.
After social distancing, contact tracing is widely seen as the second line of defense against COVID-19. The idea is as simple as finding infected people and then finding whoever came in contact with the infected people. It has been used for decades to control the spread of infectious diseases. Singapore has already effectively used contact tracing to limit the spread of coronavirus. With the Aarogya Setu app, the government of India is trying something similar but the app has been dubbed as privacy disaster by experts.