Signal downloads see record surge amid growing concerns over WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy

By: |
January 12, 2021 5:54 PM

According to WhatsApp new privacy norms, the users have to give access to data sharing, including location, phone number with Facebook and its other units like Messenger and Instagram.

whatsapp, signal, alternative messaging apps, top apps on google store, new privacy norms in WhatsApp, telegram, people switching to signal from whatsappSignal gaining grounds over WhatsApp as private messaging platform. (Bloomberg Image)

Growing concern around WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy seems to be pushing more and more users to alternatives like Signal. The number of new users who are joining Signal every day has crossed 1 million bringing it closer to WhatsApp. As on Sunday, 8,10,000 users have installed Signal that is nearly 18-fold compared to a number of downloads made four days back on January 06, when the Facebook-owned messaging platform updated its privacy norms.

According to WhatsApp new privacy norms, the users have to give access to data sharing, including location, phone number with Facebook and its other units like Messenger and Instagram. Users who don’t comply with the new norms latest by February 8, will lose access to the messaging app.

Facebook’s move has come under the scanner with privacy advocates citing the social media giant’s track record in handling user data. Many including Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, popular whistleblower Edward Snowden have advised users to migrate to similar messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram.

Signal meanwhile, making most of the opportunity has become the number one app on App store in India and on 3rd position on Google Play as on January 11. Signal also tweeted that it is being listed as the top free app on Apple’s App Store charts in India, Austria, France, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, and Switzerland.

Signal has also added more servers to handle the increased traffic. The app so long was used only by journalists and activists, security experts only who are in the lookout of a more secure mode of communication. Signal was founded by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.

WhatsApp facing new challenges saw 7 per cent dip in daily download as on Sunday, compared with Wednesday when the app was downloaded by nearly 1.2 million users on Jan. 10, according to Apptopia. Although it has clarified that the new privacy norms is addressed only for business accounts, but the way it is being pushed to and personal consumer accounts has demotivated many to stop using the app

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