Encrypted messaging app Singal sees an influx of new users signing up for their service following a privacy update from Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and a recommendation from Elon Musk on Twitter.
As Ars Technica reports, Signal has seen so many new users sign up that there have been delays in phone number verification of new accounts.
RELATED: WHATSAPP MAKES DATA SHARING WITH FACEBOOK MANDATORY
Instead, the policy states directly that WhatsApp will share data (including phone number, profile name and address book information) with Facebook.
“As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from and shares information with this family of companies,”
“We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them to help service, offer, improve, understand, adapt, support and market our services and their offerings,” it continues.
Now Facebook employees have gone so far as to take to the rival social media platform Twitter to say that nothing has effectively changed.
– Niamh Sweeney (@NiamhSweeneyNYC) January 7, 2021
Nevertheless, several posters responded to Niamh Sweeney’s thread above that they had deleted their WhatsApp accounts.
Signals Elon endorsement
Around the same time, Elon Musk, who has been critical of Facebook in recent times, tweeted “Use Signal” to his 41.6 million followers.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
Musk, who was recently announced as the richest man in the world, also posted a meme that satirized Facebook’s role in this week’s attack on Congress.
All of this seems to have had a cumulative effect, resulting in millions of users leaving WhatsApp for Signal, a privacy-focused nonprofit service founded and funded by Brian Acton., The WhatsApp co-founder who left the company when he was disillusioned by Facebook’s privacy practices.
Confirmation codes are currently delayed across multiple vendors because so many new people are trying to join Signal right now (we can barely register our excitement). We work with carriers to solve this as quickly as possible. Hold out.
– Signal (@signalapp) January 7, 2021
As The Verge points out, WhatsApp has released a long statement saying that the policy update does not actually change the way data is shared between the messaging app and Facebook.
It seems that years of shady practices, the epitome of the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, can come to mind with many users leaving WhatsApp for good.