The messaging applications Signal and Telegram are seeing a sudden increase in demand after rival WhatsApp sent its users a message informing them of the update of its terms of service and privacy. But why have these changes led to the search for new options?

What does the new WhatsApp policy say?

WhatsApp introduced new terms of service on Wednesday, asking users to allow its parent Facebook and its affiliates to collect their data, including phone number and location; which generated concern in social networks, where some users recommended switching to Signal and Telegram.

Among the data that WhatsApp can now share with other Facebook services, including Instagram and Messenger, is user activity, how the services are used, device model, battery charge level, mobile network, the connection, including the phone number, mobile operator or Internet service provider, and IP address.

However,  WhatsApp clarified that the content of the messages transmitted by its platform will not be shared with the other services of the Facebook family.

The new policy WhatsApp is a step to formal integration of instant messaging network Facebook, which the company says will help improve infrastructure, the delivery system, and understand how users use the services offered.

WhatsApp said in a statement that these changes will contribute to improving the service and user experience since it will be possible to have suggestions of connections from friends or groups, customize functions and content, make purchases and transactions and receive relevant advertising or offers through the products of the companies that make up Facebook.

The new WhatsApp policy is a step towards the formal integration of the instant messaging network to Facebook. | Photo: AFP.

Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey’s tweet

Another reason why other messaging apps have seen an increase is that celebrities have recommended them, in the specific case of Signal, its popularity soared after it was endorsed by a tweet by Elon Musk, the richest man in the world. world and owner of Tesla and SpaceX.

Musk was joined by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who indicated his preference for the Signal app.

As of February 8, more than 100,000 users downloaded Signal from the Apple and Google app stores in the last two days, while  Telegram amassed almost 2.2 million downloads, according to data from the analytics firm Sensor Tower.

Who is who in the messaging apps?

While Signal and Telegram increased their user numbers, the number of new WhatsApp downloads fell 11% in the first seven days of 2021, equivalent to an estimated total of 10.5 million installs globally.

Telegram and Signal are positioned ahead of WhatsApp in the Android download store. | Photo: AFP.

According to figures from the Google Play Store, so far the main communication applications are:

  1. Telegram
  2. Signal
  3. WhatsApp

While in its list of the most popular apps in the same category, the seats are occupied by:

  1. Signal
  2. Telegram
  3. Line

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