- WhatsApp informed users on Wednesday that they would have to start sharing some personal information with Facebook, the parent company, from February 8th.
- The data shows that this has led to a large increase in downloads of rival applications for the encrypted Signal and Telegram message.
- The signal recorded 7.5 million downloads last week, up 4200% from the previous week. Telegram recorded 9 million downloads, an increase of 91%. India was the biggest source of takeovers for both.
- The signal received significant publicity after the announcement of WhatsApp, and public figures including Elon Musk and Edward Snowden supported the app as a WhatsApp alternative.
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WhatsApp’s rivals got a big boost after the messaging app was announced on Wednesday to force users to share some personal information with their parent company Facebook.
WhatsApp has told users that it will have to agree that Facebook and its affiliates collect WhatsApp data – including phone numbers and locations – before February 8 – or will lose access to the app. WhatsApp has since clarified that it only affects users outside the EU and the UK and said the change “does not in any way affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family.”
Data from company analytics application Sensor Tower shows that Signal, a rival encrypted messaging service, has seen a huge increase in the number of users since the announcement of WhatsApp.
“From January 6 to January 10, Signal installed about 7.5 million installations globally from across the App Store and Google Play,” a Sensor Tower spokesman told Insider.
This represented an increase of 4200% over the previous week.
The signal received significant publicity after the announcement of WhatsApp, including public figures Elon Musk and Edward Snowden supporting the application. Musk posted “use Signal” on Twitter, which had the unexpected side effect of sending shares of unrelated company Signal Advance, jumping 11,700%.
Encrypted messaging service Telegram has seen even more users left its service. In the same time period, it gathered 9 million new users, which is 91% more than in the previous week.
For both Signal and Telegram, the market with the highest growth was India. The signal saw 2.3 million installations in India – more than 30% of the total number of new installations. India accounted for 1.5 million Telegram installations or 16% of all installations.
For Signal, the second largest market was the United States, where users installed it about a million times.
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WhatsApp has been trying to alleviate public concerns about the privacy of its app since Wednesday. “We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear that we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption,” the company said in statement on Monday.
“We want to make it clear that the policy update does not in any way affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family. Instead, this update includes changes related to company messages on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency on how we collect and we use the data “, added WhatsApp in frequently asked questions on its website.