Technology • Internet & Web
2021-01-14T08:00:02+00:00

Telegram and Signal have unprecedented growth after a controversial change in WhatsApp's privacy terms

Messaging applications Telegram and Signal see impressive user growth in the wake of confusion over updated terms of service notification from Facebook-owned encrypted messaging service WhatsApp.

Telegram said on Wednesday it had surpassed 500 million active users globally, while Signal took the number 1 spot on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store's top free apps lists this week.

Brian Acton, who co-founded WhatsApp before selling it to Facebook and then co-founding the Signal Foundation, told Reuters that "We’ve seen unprecedented growth this past week." He also said Signal was working to improve its video and group chat functions, allowing it to compete better with WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, and other conferencing apps that have become vital to day-to-day life over the past year. Privacy advocates have jumped on the WhatsApp changes, pointing to what they say is Facebook's poor track record of supporting consumers' interests when handling their data, with many suggesting users migrate to other platforms.

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