WhatsApp informed users Wednesday that they would have to start sharing some personal data with its parent company, Facebook, starting February 8. Data indicates this helped lead to a huge spike in downloads on the rival encrypted messaging apps like Telegram.
Telegram saw 9 million downloads, a 91% increase.
WhatsApp told users they would have to agree to let Facebook and its subsidiaries collect WhatsApp data — including phone numbers and locations — before February 8 or lose access to the app. WhatsApp has says this affects users outside the European Union and the UK.
“Respect for Users”: The Reason Why Many Are Switching From WhatsApp to Telegram
Given these policy changes especially in its privacy policies, many users are moving to other messaging apps. The reason behind the change is not fortuitous and Pável Dúrov, co-founder of Telegram, explains why his application has become a favorite of those fleeing Mark Zuckerberg’s platform.
Last Friday, through a statement published on his official Telegram channel, Dúrov explained that the great attraction of his app is precisely the weak point of WhatsApp.
“I hear that Facebook has an entire department dedicated to finding out why Telegram is so popular. Imagine dozens of employees working on it full time. I am happy to save Facebook tens of millions of dollars and give away our secret for free: respect its users,” said the Russian entrepreneur.
The 36-year-old mogul went on to explain that people are migrating to Telegram in search of the privacy they will no longer have on WhatsApp.
“Millions of people are outraged by the latest change in WhatsApp terms, which now say that users must submit all their private data to Facebook’s ad engine. It is not surprising that the flight of WhatsApp users to Telegram has accelerated, which has been going on for a few years,” the post reads.
The update also includes the use of a tool to send targeted advertising to users. Ads may appear as banners to redirect to external sites, or require specific actions from users.