WhatsApp exodus: Telegram reaches 500 million users

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Éxodo de Whatsapp: Telegram alcanza 500 millones de usuarios

It was evident that the changes in WhatsApp policies, regarding the transfer of data to its owner company, Facebook, were not going to sit too well with users. It is true, yes, that as we already clarified in the news we published about it, these changes are not going to be applied globallySince there are places, like the European Union, where the laws do not allow it. What’s more, and following the publication of this news, we received an official statement from WhatsApp, which we reproduce below:

There are no changes to WhatsApp’s data sharing practices in the European region (including the UK) arising from the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. For the avoidance of any doubt, WhatsApp does not share WhatsApp user data from the European region with Facebook in order for Facebook to use this data to improve its products or advertisements.»

Therefore, users protected by the regulatory framework of the European Union who, until now, were in compliance with WhatsApp policies, they shouldn’t worry about changes, and in fact the message that is shown when the app is opened shows a different warning than that seen by other users in the rest of the world:

Telegram and Signal grow at the expense of WhatsApp

The impact this change has had outside of Europe, and possibly also among European users who are unaware of this difference, is causing huge potential user outflow who, fearful of the transfer of WhatsApp data to Facebook, have begun to explore alternatives to what, even today, is still the most widely used instant messaging service in the world.

One of the indicators of this is that Telegram has exceeded 500 million active users. It is not a huge surprise, because a few weeks ago we told you that the service was approaching that number, but the striking thing is that according to the service itself, in the last 72 hours more than 25 million new users have been added. If we take into account that in April 2020 the company said that it had reached 400 million, we see that the growth of these days has been exponentially higher than usual, something that in all probability is due to changes in WhatsApp.

In addition, and as indicated by the message in which Telegram informs its users of this milestone, it seems that the invitations sent by users to their contacts to enter the service have been an important factor for this growth. So much so that, in addition to thanking them, Telegram suggests welcoming these new users using the service’s own functions, such as animated stickers or video messages.

On the other hand, and just as reports Business Insider, Signal downloads have skyrocketed 4,200% since WhatsApp’s announcement about the transfer of data to Facebook. With a much more modest user quota, Signal has long been the instant messaging service of choice for the most demanding users when it comes to privacy.

In both cases, still hopen to wait to see if users finally complete the transition to services such as Telegram and Signal or, on the contrary, the force of habit and, even more so, the persistence of their contacts in the use of WhatsApp, make them end up returning to the Facebook instant messaging service.

It is anyone’s guess whether, when the deadline for accepting the new rules has arrived, Facebook will publish data on users who have stopped using WhatsApp. I mean, I think it won’t happen, but it wouldn’t be the first time that Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has surprised me. I still have more doubts about whether, in the case of a singularly high number, the executives will consider going back on this decision and, therefore, will maintain the model of this last year, in which users have been able to choose whether share WhatsApp data with Facebook or not.

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