Turks Flock to Apps to avoid censorship

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Installs of pioneering App soar 1000% following recent street protests and in anticipation of more government censorship.

Turkish People Flock to Hotspot Shield to Keep Online Communications Channels Open
Turkish People Flock to Hotspot Shield to Keep Online Communications Channels Open. Photo-Julia Manzerova

AnchorFree, the global leader in consumer security, privacy and Internet freedom, today announced that it experienced 1000% growth in installs of its popular Hotspot Shield VPN software over the weekend in Turkey.

As Turkish citizens of all ages took to the streets to protest what they view as an increasingly authoritarian government, Hotspot Shield saw an influx of more than 120,000 new users.

Feeding concerns of increased government censorship, the Turkish Prime Minister called Twitter a “scourge” and condemned social media in general as “the worst menace” to society.

Installs of the iPhone and Android versions surged nearly 3000 percent over the weekend in Turkey while installs of the desktop PC and Mac software, already popular across the country, grew by 800 percent day-over-day.

The mobile version of Hotspot Shield jumped into the Top 5 most downloaded iPhone apps alongside popular communications apps such as Twitter and Ustream, which allows users to broadcast live video, and Zello, an app which allows your iPhone to function like a two-way CB radio or walkie-talkie. iOS installs on Saturday grew 77 times what they were on Friday.

Hotspot Shield sees about 9,800 installs a day across all platforms from Turkey, but saw those numbers jumped to 98,487 on Saturday alone.

David Gorodyansky; “Enabling secure and free access to the world’s information has been a big part of our company mission from the start,” said David Gorodyansky, founder and CEO of AnchorFree, which created Hotspot Shield.

We find it satisfying and humbling to enable Internet users to gain freedom to access all information online and are glad to play a role in global events by putting users in control online.

The really interesting thing here is that tens of thousands of people are downloading Hotspot Shield in anticipation of further censorship.

It just goes to show how evolving Internet and mobile app technology is helping to thwart attempts to limit democratic rights and freedoms.” — David Gorodyansky, founder and CEO of AnchorFree, which created Hotspot Shield

Since launching in 2007, Hotspot Shield has garnered 120 million downloads across 190 countries. 6 million new downloads now take place each month, making it the world’s most popular VPN.

MENA is a strong contributor to the company’s rise to prominence, with active mobile users increasing by nearly 1000 percent last year. AnchorFree also saw its desktop users in the region increase by 30 percent.

Five billion pages views are made secure every month and over 700 million malware threats have been thwarted to date.

A significant portion of AnchorFree’s recent success is due to the Hotspot Shield mobile app, which has been downloaded over 10 million times in just 18 months. Around 1.5 million new downloads are now taking place per month across both Android and iOS platforms.

Hotspot Shield also enables users to reduce their bandwidth by up to 50 percent, which has saved global users over 103 million MB in the past 18 months.

Hotspot Shield is currently the number one security app on the iPhone and iPad. It also ranks number one in the Apple App store’s Utilities category in over ten countries.

Earlier this year, AnchorFree was hailed as America’s sixth most promising company and Gorodyansky was identified as one of the country’s most promising CEOs. Hotspot Shield was also named by popular download site Softonic as “one of the best apps” at Mobile World Congress 2013.

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