Wednesday , December 1 2021
WhatsApp Clarifies Position on Privacy Policy as Signal Receives 4,200% Boost in Users in 72 hours

WhatsApp Clarifies Position on Privacy Policy as  Signal Receives 4,200% Boost in Users in 72 hours

…As Telegram Hits 500 Million Active Users in 72 hours

Coming after the public backlash suffered by WhatsApp over its privacy policy update between January 6 and 10, the encrypted messaging app Signal was downloaded roughly 7.5 million times globally across the App Store and Google Play in a 4200 percent increase compared to the week prior.

Telegram, a similar messaging service, also saw a 91 percent increase thanks to 9 million downloads worldwide. India was the largest market for both Signal and Telegram, accounting for 30 and 16 percent of all installs respectively; the U.S. was Signal’s second largest market with 1 million installs.

Telegram hit the 500 million active user milestone in the days following backlash over WhatsApp’s changing privacy policy.

The messaging app announced it had 25 million downloads in the last 72 hours. Competitor Signal has also seen a boost in users in the last several days.

The encrypted messaging boom follows last week’s news that as of February 8, WhatsApp will require users to share personal data, including phone numbers and location, with its parent company Facebook or they’ll lose access to the app.

In the days following the WhatsApp news, Signal received a good deal of publicity from Elon Musk and Edward Snowden who each took to Twitter to throw their weight behind the app.

WhatsApp has since clarified its new policy to say the privacy of messages with friends and family will not be affected, but it’s still forcing users to share some account data with Facebook in order to continue using their accounts.

The user boost comes after competitor WhatsApp faced widespread backlash following a new privacy policy, in which users will have to let Facebook and its subsidiaries collect WhatsApp data, like phone numbers and locations, before February 8 or lose access to the app. The company has since clarified the change doesn’t affect the privacy of messages with friends and family.

ALSO READ: Market Share: MTN Ranks High, Records 64.4 Million Internet Subscribers in Q3 2020

“It’s important for us to be clear this update describes business communication and does not change WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook,” WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart said on Twitter. “It does not impact how people communicate privately with friends or family wherever they are in the world.”

Founded in 2013 by Pavel Durov, Dubai-based Telegram is a multimedia messaging app that competes with WhatsApp. Durov, the billionaire majority owner of the company, developed the app after creating Russia’s largest social network, according to Forbes. A representative from the company was not immediately available for comment on its surge in new user downloads.

WhatsApp has now clarified that E.U. and U.K. will be exempt from these changes and that the privacy of messages will not be affected by the changes in regions affected. In a statement yesterday, company also released an FAQs section on its blog to assuage users’ concerns. “We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data,” the statement reads.

Facebook also experienced a bit of WhatsApp-related turbulence prior to this announcement.

About Bukola Olanrewaju

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