WhatsApp users switch to alternative platforms after rule changes

Alternative messaging platforms are experiencing a surge in users after WhatsApp announced new data sharing rules earlier this month.

Platforms Signal and Telegram have reportedly seen heightened downloads as a result of the announcement about data sharing rules.

Data from Sensor Tower shows that the week prior to the announcement Signal was downloaded 246,000 times; the number of downloads hit 8.8 million the week after.

In a tweet responding to the huge growth, which caused some delays to verification codes and creating groups, Signal said: “We continue to shatter traffic records and add capacity as more and more people come to terms with how much they dislike Facebook’s new terms. If you weren’t able to create a new group recently, please try again. New servers are ready to serve you.”

According to the BBC, Telegram saw even more downloads post-announcement, with 6.5 million downloads taking place before the news, and 11 million the following week.

The news broadcaster said that in the UK, downloads went from 47,000 to 101,000, while in the US they jumped from 272,000 to 671,000.

Those using WhatsApp in the UK and EU avoid the new rules which force users to share their data with Facebook.

Users outside of the European region will have to agree with updates to data sharing rules by 8 February or delete their accounts.

European users will however need to comply with other new terms in order to continue using the app.

The new Facebook privacy policy for European users says that data can be shared with other Facebook companies to show personalised ads and offers, the BBC reported on Thursday.

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