WhatsApp rival Telegram has seen a 500 per cent increase in new users amid widespread dissatisfaction with the way the Facebook-owned app handles people’s data.
Signal, on the other hand recorded over 3,570 per cent increase in new downloads just over the last week, compared to the number of new signing the previous week.
In terms of hard figures, Telegram recorded 25 million new users over the last 72 hours, according to founder Pavel Durov, taking the total number of users above 500 million.
Signal wrote on Twitter that “We continue to shatter traffic records and add capacity as more and more people come to terms with how much they dislike Facebook’s new terms.”
“If you weren’t able to create a new group recently, please try again. New servers are ready to serve you.”
Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, who has frequently criticized WhatsApp’s approach to user privacy in the past, wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday that the latest surge in new users was the most significant in the company’s seven-year history.
“People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services. They no longer want to be held hostage by tech monopolies that seem to think they can get away with anything as long as their apps have a critical mass of users,” he wrote.
“With half a billion active users and accelerating growth, Telegram has become the largest refuge for those seeking a communication platform committed to privacy and security. We take this responsibility very seriously. We won’t let you down.”
Durov added that since launching in August 2013, Telegram “hasn’t disclosed a single byte of our users’ private data to third parties”.
Meanwhile, some very important global figures like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, have been on Twitter asking people to leave WhatsApp and use Signal. Musk actually promised to donate more money to Signal to them an edge over WhatsApp.
Some anonymous Twitter user also asked users to delete Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, all of which are owned by Facebook.