Signal and Telegram messaging apps are seeing a sudden increase in demand after larger rival WhatsApp’s updated terms of service raised eyebrows on social media.
As WhatsApp users continue to share their frustrations and dissatisfaction about the new terms of service, some users have since left WhatsApp for Telegram and Signal.
According to data analytics firm Sensor Tower, more than 100000 users installed Signal across the app stores of Apple and Google in the last two days, while Telegram picked up nearly 2.2 million downloads.
Last week, Facebook-owned messenger app, which uses Signal’s encryption technology, introduced new terms, requesting users to agree and allow Facebook and its subsidiaries to collect user data, including their phone number and location.
Editor-In-Chief of Fast Company (SA) magazine, Wesley Diphoko, says the new move is a 180 degrees reversal from Facebook.
He says when Facebook Inc bought WhatsApp, it assured users that their data would remain private.
Diphoko has warned that those who accept the new or updated terms, stand to share a significant amount of data with Facebook.
Meanwhile, Sensor Tower says new installs of WhatsApp fell 11% in the first seven days of 2021 compared with the prior week.
It also says the instant messaging app still amounted to an estimated 10.5 million downloads globally.
How Facebook plans to use your WhatsApp data
Chief executive officer (CEO) of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, says advertising and businesses will be able to target users according to the information users store on their WhatsApp.
Goldstuck says, “I believe the intention is for WhatsApp to become an adverting medium as well … we shouldn’t be surprised in future when we have to accept new terms and conditions that says [WhatsApp] will be showing users adverts relevant to users’ interest.”
Users must agree to the new terms by 8 February or lose access to their chats and contacts.
In the video below, Goldstuck explains how the new policy will affect user:
Below are some of the reaction from WhatsApp users: