If you’re already on either Telegram or Signal then you might have noticed a strange occurrence this weekend. New users flooded to both platforms in a bid to kick WhatsApp to the curb following the implementation of an updated terms and conditions agreement. Said agreement, which essentially allowed WhatsApp to share more user information with Facebook than it already does, has been met with such vitriol for its more intrusive policy that thousands are leaving WhatsApp for greener (less green?) pastures.
While an updated terms and conditions isn’t out of the norm for social media apps, what left a sour taste in the mouths of WhatsApp users is the forced sharing of information with Facebook. Users can’t opt out of the update and if they decline they’re barred from using the app in the near future. WhatsApp planted its flag and in the earth, saying that the only choices are acceptance or taking that door over there. Strangely enough, the latter is exactly what people are opting for.
Telegram and Signal are here to party
Which brings us to the massive spikes seen in both Signal and Telegram downloads this weekend. Both instant messaging apps provide a similar service to WhatsApp but, given that they’re not owned by Facebook, users will (hopefully) never have to worry about Zuckerberg using their data.
Both Telegram and Signal aren’t much different to WhatsApp, truth be told. Both use encryption technology to keep messages and chats secured (Signal’s encryption is actually identical to WhatsApp). While Telegram has seen a massive surge of 2.2 million new users since last Wednesday, Signal has the backing of some industry giants despite not pulling in anywhere near as many new users.
Both Elon Musk (AKA now the richest man in the world) and Jack Dorsey (CEO and co-founder of Twitter) recommended Signal as their preferred instant messaging app but that only netted the company 100,000 new users. Still nothing to scoff at, given how rapidly folks migrated. It’s worth taking note of.
WhatsApp downloads have dropped by 11% since the beginning of 2021 and might continue to drop the more people realise that switching to a different messaging app isn’t all that difficult. WhatsApp is still sitting at roughly 10.5 million downloads since the year started. It’s a raindrop in an ocean for WhatsApp but still, it’s satisfying to tell Zuckerberg where he can shove his data-siphoning messaging service.
If you want to get off WhatsApp for good, we’ve got a handy guide on exactly how to do that. It’s really not as hard as you think!