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Millions Abandon WhatsApp For Signal App After Elon Musk Endorsement

by : Daniel Richardson on : 12 Jan 2021 12:13
Signal appSignal appPA Images

The next WhatsApp update will see UK and EU users agree to share their data with Facebook. As a result, some are concerned about using the app – but Elon Musk has offered a solution. 

An update scheduled for February 8 will see WhatsApp users have their data shared with Facebook. Given that Facebook has influenced elections and questions have been raised over the way it uses individual-specific data, many users are leaving WhatsApp for new social pastures.

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However, finding a new application that you can talk to friends on can be difficult particularly when the likes of WhatsApp are so popular. Elon Musk took to Twitter to let users know about an alternative that is beginning to take off.

The message from Musk was simple – ‘Use Signal’ – but it has generated a lot of interest in the app. Elon Musk is a popular figure on Twitter because of his updates on his space and electric-vehicle projects. The promotion of Signal was slightly different, however, because the businessman doesn’t have a direct hand in the company. It seems in this instance Musk just offered a useful tip.

Signal gained 1.2 million downloads on the day Musk tweeted about the app, which was also the same day that details of WhatsApp’s update emerged. The app has gone from strength to strength, and a Sensor Tower insider told Business Insider that between January 6 and 10 Signal had 7.5 million downloads – a 4200% increase from the previous week. Similarly, messaging app Telegram is seeing a sharp increase in downloads.

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While these apps see significant growth, WhatsApp saw its download figures fall by 13% in the first week of the new year. This fall has largely been attributed to the company’s policy change.

In the privacy policy, WhatsApp explained the changes it is implementing:

As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, the other Facebook Companies.

We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market our Services and their offerings, including the Facebook Company Products.

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Whether Telegram or Signal can surpass WhatsApp remains to be seen. To do so there will be several factors at play, including functionality and the widespread concern of the privacy policy that WhatsApp uses.

Nonetheless, it seems that messaging apps may have a battle to achieve a dominant position in the market, and this may lead to some interesting developments.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. Through working with the likes of Game Rant, The Hook and What Culture, Dan pursued his interests in technology. The skills he picked up along the way are now being utilised with UNILAD.

Topics: Technology, Elon Musk, Facebook, Now, Tech, whatsapp