Soon after, tech mogul Elon Musk advocated the not-for-profit messaging platform Signal, and what followed was a mass migration of users from WhatsApp to competitors like Telegram and Signal.
During this time, WhatsApp tried to issue several clarifications that the additional data that would be shared with Facebook would only be with reference to the business accounts that operate on the instant messaging platform, and that no personal chats – individual or group – would be shared since they continue to be placed under end-to-end encryption.
Still, the outrage forced WhatsApp to delay the implementation of the policy to mid-May.
WhatsApp issue in India
However, over the course of time, while WhatsApp implemented the new policy on May 15, it did not lock the accounts of those users who did not accept the updated terms. Now, the company has said in Delhi HC during a hearing of the CCI probe case, that it has “voluntarily” decided to put the policy on hold, meaning that users who have not yet accepted the terms would not lose control or any functionality of their accounts at least for the foreseeable future, though they will continue to receive messages and updates regarding the policy, which can be seen as an attempt to create nuisance and irritate users into accepting the updates terms.
By-product: Stronger alternatives to WhatsApp
A key by-product from this entire ordeal surrounding WhatsApp is the rise in stronger alternatives to WhatsApp. During a short period of mass migration, Telegram and Signal upped their games and offered unprecedented features, including transfer of entire chats from WhatsApp to their platforms, so that users would be able to transition conveniently. Though WhatsApp is still dominant due to migrating users splitting between Telegram and Signal, there are at least alternatives that people can look at some time in the future, all while without having to lose their WhatsApp chat data.