In regions around the world, such as the UK and United States, Signal has moved into the top spot for the most downloaded apps on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
While there have been calls from high-profile people, such as Elon Musk, to use Signal for all of their chat app needs. After WhatsApp revealed the upcoming privacy and terms changes, Musk simply tweeted: “Use Signal”.
The app’s official Twitter account not long afterwards reported a huge increase in the number of new users registering.
To stop the flood of WhatsApp users leaving the messaging platform, WhatsApp has gone into damage-limitation mode. It has issued a new message to attempt to clarify what exactly is changing with the new terms.
The official WhatsApp Twitter account posted: “We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption.”
Alongside this was a graphic saying ‘WhatsApp Protects and Secures Your Private Messages’, which lists how the firm does this. WhatsApp emphasised that they cannot see a user’s private message or hear their calls, and neither can Facebook. And they added that WhatsApp does not share contact information with Facebook, nor do they have access to a user’s location and neither does their parent company.
“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data.”
The post goes onto say: “Messaging with businesses is different than messaging with your family or friends. Some large businesses need to use hosting services to manage their communication. Which is why we’re giving businesses the option to use secure hosting services from Facebook to manage WhatsApp chats with their customers, answer questions, and send helpful information like purchase receipts. But whether you communicate with a business by phone, email, or WhatsApp, it can see what you’re saying and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook. To make sure you’re informed, we clearly label conversations with businesses that are choosing to use hosting services from Facebook.”