Signal has announced that it has a record level of downloads for the app around the world.

Representational image shows chats from the Signal app
Atom Social Saturday, January 09, 2021 - 16:53

WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions by which users have to consent to sharing data with Facebook or lose their accounts, has pushed many people to apps such as Signal and Telegram. Earlier this week, Facebook-owned WhatsApp said that it will now share user data across Facebook and the companies it owns. This includes Facebook Payments Inc and Facebook Payments International Limited, Onavo, Facebook Technologies, LLC and Facebook Technologies Ireland Limited, WhatsApp Inc. and WhatsApp Ireland Limited, and CrowdTangle.

WhatsApp’s new terms and privacy policy take effect on February 8, 2021, and users have until then to accept these updates. A user will need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp, the platform said.

Signal has announced that it has a record level of downloads for the app around the world. “Between WhatsApp announcing they would be sharing everything with the Facebook mothership and the Apple privacy labels that allowed people to compare us to other popular messengers, it seems like many people are interested in private communication,” it said.

After this, Signal’s verification codes were delayed across several providers because of the number of people trying to join the network. Tesla CEO Elon Musk also tweeted, ‘Use Signal’.

The Economic Times reported that Signal downloads were up 38%. On Wednesday, it saw 2,200 people installing the app, up from 1,600 in the preceding week as per SensorTower data.

On the Apple App Store, Signal became the top free app.

Signal has been endorsed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, as well as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

The Signal Foundation was founded by Brian Acton and Moxie Marlinspike. Acton was also one of the founders of WhatsApp, which was sold to Facebook in 2014. He left the company in 2017. It is open-sourced and not-for-profit. Signal gives you encrypted messages, voice and video calls.

Another messaging app, rival Telegram, is also having its moment in the sun. Founder and CEO Pavel Durov on Saturday slammed Facebook, saying it is no surprise that the flight of users from WhatsApp to Telegram, already ongoing for a few years, has accelerated. According to Durov, Facebook has an entire department devoted to figuring out why Telegram is so popular.

"Imagine dozens of employees working on just that full-time. I am happy to save Facebook tens of millions of dollars and give away our secret for free: respect your users," he said in a statement.

At about 500 million users and growing, Telegram has become a major problem for the Facebook corporation.

"Unable to compete with Telegram in quality and privacy, Facebook's WhatsApp seems to have switched to covert marketing: Wikipedia editors have recently exposed multiple paid bots adding biased information into the WhatsApp Wikipedia article," Durov claimed.

It's important to note that over 400 million users use WhatsApp in India alone, and it has over 5 billion downloads on the Google Play Store. The downloads of Signal and Telegram may not make a dent on WhatsApp just yet.

Read: WhatsApp updates its privacy policy: All you need to know

With IANS inputs

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