A change to WhatsApp’s terms of service has triggered a mass exodus from the messaging platform to more private and independent rivals like Telegram and Signal, which have registered millions of new users over the last week.
Rather than agreeing to new terms specifying the app’s right to share user data with Facebook, millions of WhatsApp users simply gave up using the platform, abandoning it for less-intrusive competitors. Telegram alone has been downloaded 25 million times in the last 72 hours.
Telegram surpassed 500 million active users. 25 million new users joined in the last 72 hours: 38% came from Asia, 27% from Europe, 21% from Latin America and 8% from MENA. https://t.co/1LptHZb9PQ
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) January 12, 2021
Some of those new sign-ups include refugees from the free speech platform Parler, looking for a way to connect and organize after the right-wing Twitter alternative was suddenly yanked offline by hosting services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS).