- The messaging app asked users earlier in January, but inadvertently started a privacy panic.
- The panic increased the user numbers of competing encrypted messaging services Signal and Telegram.
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WhatsApp then pushed back the deadline to accept the new terms. On Thursday, it posted a blog post that said it would again ask users to sign up for the new policy.
This time, however, instead of sending them a pop-up alert, WhatsApp will display a banner at the top of the app that users can click to review the new policy. When you click on the banner, you get a complete explanation of what is changing.
In its blog post, WhatsApp seemed to sweep on competing apps, which gained the number of users after last month’s privacy scare.
“During this time, we understand that someone can check out other apps to see what they have to offer. We’ve seen some of our competitors try to get away with claiming they can not see people’s messages – if an app does not make it offer end-to-end encryption by default, which means they can read your messages, “it said.
WhatsApp did not mention which competitors it referred to, but two of the biggest apps that benefited from January’s privacy scare were messaging apps Signal and Telegram. Signal downloads rose 4,200% in the four days following WhatsApp’s announcement, with 7.5 million new downloads. Telegram said it gained 25 million new users in 72 hours, taking it past 500 million download marks.
While Signal is end-to-end encrypted by default, Telegram is not.
WhatsApp seemed to refer to these services in its blog and said: “Other apps say they are better because they know even less information than WhatsApp. We think people are looking for apps to be both reliable and secure, even if it requires that WhatsApp has some limited data. “
Signal and Telegram collect less metadata about users than what WhatsApp does, which experts say makes them better services for people who want to protect their privacy.