Business & Economy Technology Telegram and Signal seeing rapid increase of users amid Whatsapp privacy concerns

Telegram and Signal seeing rapid increase of users amid Whatsapp privacy concerns

"We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption," said WhatsApp in response to the uproar on privacy

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

After the announcement of messaging app Whatsapp that it would be sharing users’ personal data with Facebook, its competitors Telegram and Signal are basking in the rapid increase of downloads as people switch platforms.

On Wednesday (Jan 6) Whatsapp announced through a user notification it would be changing its terms of service, forcing users to share personal data such as phone numbers and locations with Facebook, its parent company.

Furthermore, the messaging app that prides itself in being an encrypted, privacy-focused service, noted its users would have to agree to the changes before Feb 8 or lose access to the app.

The news prompted many to delete the app and switch to other, more secure messaging apps such as Telegram and Signal.

- Advertisement -

Prominent public figures such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined the call to switch services. He tweeted “Use Signal” on Jan 7. “Signal and Telegram are now better alternatives if you are concerned about your privacy,” tweeted TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher.

 

He attached screenshots comparing the platforms, including Facebook Messenger, and their privacy statements.

In response to the uproar, WhatsApp released a new FAQ page to its website, outlining its user privacy stance. It also took to Twitter to upload an infograph explaining the extent of the changes.

“We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption,” said WhatsApp.

Whatsapp has an estimated two billion users worldwide, making it the most popular messaging app, according to statista.com. It was purchased by Facebook in 2014 for US$19 billion.

With users feeling their privacy could be compromised, many took heed of trends and switched messaging apps. Signal and Telegram are among those experiencing a surge in downloads.

Signal saw a 4,200 per cent increase in its downloads with 7.5 million new users from Jan 6 to 10.

Simultaneously, Telegram released a notification message on Jan 13 announcing it has surpassed 500 million active users. “In the past 72 hours alone, more than 25 million new users from around the world joined Telegram.”

According to Business Insider, the biggest growth market for both apps was India. Signal and Telegram had 2.3 and 1.5 million downloads, respectively, in India alone. Signal has been tweeting “Look at what you’ve done” followed by a country’s flag to show appreciation to its new users.

Signal currently holds first place as the most secure messaging platform, as reported by getstream.io. Telegram comes in fourth while Whatsapp in fifth.

In Singapore, WhatsApp has remained the most-used messaging platform. However, Signal, Telegram, WeChat and Line are a few other options free to download.

- Advertisement -

99% of SG companies hire fairly, says Singapore International Chamber of Commerce chair

Singapore—Many people have been concerned over fair hiring practices lately, especially in the light of job security during the pandemic. And while Singapore’s business leaders said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 19) that welcoming global talent is vital for maintaining Singapore’s...

Police arrest man who broke into neighbour’s flat and kissed her while she was sleeping

Singapore—The police arrested a man who let himself into his neighbor’s unit and kissed her while she was sleeping. The incident occurred on Monday morning (Jan 18) at a building along Tampines Street 83. Ironically, the man called the police himself around noon...

Design submitted by Temasek Polytechnic students selected as logo for Budget 2021

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat revealed that a design submitted by a group of Temasek Polytechnic students has been selected as the logo of Budget 2021, which will be delivered in Parliament right after the Chinese...