Surge in Signal Installs
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has recently received a huge backlash from its 2 billion plus users. This occurred after it told users that they needed to share private information with other Facebook subsidiaries if they wished to continue using WhatsApp. This is despite the fact that Facebook is currently facing twin antitrust lawsuits insisting Facebook sell WhatsApp.
The change spurred Elon Musk, who has one of the most followed accounts on Twitter, to send out a tweet. He urged users to switch to Signal, causing Signal installs to shoot up. Signal is an encrypted messaging app and a rival to the much larger WhatsApp. When Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, retweeted Musk’s tweet, Signal installs shot up even further. So much so that Signal’s service crashed temporarily.
“Verification codes are currently delayed across several providers because so many new people are trying to join Signal right now (we can barely register our excitement),” the non‑profit foundation tweeted. “We are working with carriers to resolve this as quickly as possible. Hang in there,” it said.
Other Messaging Apps
Telegram messaging app is also seeing a sudden increase in demand. According to data analytics firm Sensor Tower, Telegram has picked up nearly 2.2 million installs in the last two days.
Microsoft has also put in a recommendation and have urged WhatsApp users to download their messaging app, Skype, instead. Skype tweeted: “Skype respects your privacy. We are committed to keeping your personal data private and do not sell to 3rd parties.”
For a list of messaging apps we recommend as alternatives to WhatsApp, please refer to our article WhatsApp Alternatives: The Safest Options.
Non-EU WhatsApp users
One such “improvement” in the WhatsApp service would be the sending of targeted advertising to users. As always, however, there are two sides to any story. For businesses who use WhatsApp, integrating Facebook and WhatsApp means a simpler messaging and customer service system.
EU WhatsApp users
Data to be Shared with Facebook Subsidiaries
Private WhatsApp data that will be shared with other Facebook companies includes personal information such as name and phone number. Also shared will be contacts and how WhatsApp users interact with their contacts, but not specific message details.
Specific mobile device information like IP address, MAC address, model number, operating system and network carrier will also be passed on. Even location data could be shared with other Facebook companies if users have opted-in to sharing location information with WhatsApp.
Moreover, any users that make purchases through WhatsApp will also have payment and transaction data shared, as well as shipping addresses and money spent.