Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, capitalized on the unrest caused by the shift in the terms of service of WhatsApp, accusing the social media giant of not honoring its users. “I hear the whole department of Facebook is committed to finding out why Telegram is so famous. Imagine hundreds of full-time staff working on exactly that. I’m glad to save tens of millions of dollars from Facebook and give away our secret for free: respect your clients,” said Durov in a blog post.
Also, Durov added that Telegram currently has over 500 million users and has “become a major issue” for Facebook. He also accused WhatsApp of “covert marketing” and said that there are bots on social media that spread misleading information about Telegram.
Telegram and Signal instant messaging applications have acquired customers since the update to their terms of service (ToS) was introduced by WhatsApp on January 6. The new ToS tells customers that Facebook and organizations that use WhatsApp Enterprise features will now be sharing user data with WhatsApp. Though this was initially disclosed by the company in October last year, the update to its ToS has now been made, as the features are rolled out. Although it was initially disclosed by the company in October last year, the update to its ToS has now been made, as the features are rolled out.
On January 6 and7, Telegram generated 560,000 downloads from India (on both Android and iOS), according to data from Sensor Tower, while Signal generated just 8,400 downloads. On the other hand, WhatsApp reported 768,000 downloads over two days. Signal noted, today in a tweet, that since the ban, it has topped the charts on Play Store.
The CEO of Tesla’s electric car manufacturer, Elon Musk, who became the world’s richest man recently, was among the first to ask users to switch to Signal after the update. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Edward Snowden retweeted Musk’s tweet as well. Globally, customers have switched away from the site in numbers high enough to temporarily crash the servers of rival Signal.
This is not the first time privacy issues have been raised by WhatsApp. The disparity this time being that questions over how WhatsApp shares data with Facebook are being addressed, rather than if communications are protected on the networks and can be accessed by outsiders or hackers. In a statement, the organization explained that the update to the policies doesn’t change the standards on data sharing.