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WhatsApp’s privacy deadline is Saturday. These alternatives are rising

WhatsApp is about to begin blocking features. Users are jumping ship to Signal. Why aren’t you?

WhatsApp’s privacy deadline is Saturday. These alternatives are rising
[Photo: Anton/Pexels]
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WhatsApp’s deadline to accept its controversial new privacy policy is fast approaching. In just one more day–on May 15, 2021–if uses don’t accept the app’s new privacy policy, WhatsApp will slowly begin blocking features of the app until it becomes fully nonfunctional to the point where it is impossible to send or receive any messages, calls, or notifications.

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Since announcing the new privacy policy changes and these draconian measures for users who do not accept them, WhatsApp users have been flocking to alternative messaging apps in droves, according to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Specifically, it appears WhatsApp users are jumping ship to two primary alternatives: Signal and Telegram. As Sensor Tower’s data reveals:

  • From January to April 2021, Signal’s global installs jumped a staggering 1,192% year-over-year to 64.6 million.
  • During the same period, Telegram also saw a year-over-year install increase of 98% to 161 million.
  • Meanwhile, WhatsApp’s installs declined 43% year-over-year during the same period.

All three apps—WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal—have the same basic functionality: you can call, video chat, or text any other user across the globe for free. All apps are also cross-platform and all also offer encryption.

The main difference between the apps is the data they collect about you. The chart below reveals just what data the respective messaging apps suck up (note that Signal’s box is blank because the app collects no data that is linked to you). You can read more about Signal’s privacy benefits here. And you can read what WhatsApp owner Facebook says about WhatsApp’s privacy policy changes here.

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About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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