Telegram sees a spike in numbers as users protest against Whatsapp new privacy

Africa News World

12 January 2021

Staff Reporter/PretoriaLIVE

Cape Town – The world’s second most popular instant messaging service Telegram amassed nearly 500 million monthly active users up from 400 million active users last year, the seven-year-old service founder and owner Pavel Durov disclosed.

“Our service is now nearly 500 million users and we expect a surge in the coming weeks as users are worried about the new our older competitor’s user privacy policy,” said Durov in a blog post.

“As the gap in popularity between Telegram and its older competitor’s narrows, we find more and more validity in that original assumption,” added Durov.

The surge follows the recent announcement by the world’s most engaged and popular instant messaging app Whatsapp that it has revised its privacy policy and it will now be sharing user data with Facebook companies.

Twitter was on fire with lots of Whatsapp users threatening that they will not accept the new privacy policy and will rather switch to either Telegram or Signal which are the direct rivals for Whatsapp.

“You are chatting romantically with your girlfriend on WhatsApp. Your wife opens her #Facebook and she will be flooded with Ads from Divorce lawyers….,” tweeted an irate Whatsapp user recently.

The new policy is a complete shift from the promise made by Facebook when they purchased the app in 2014. Facebook gave assurances that Whatsapp will never merge the service with other parties.

Users are now flocking to Telegram in droves with over 4 million users signing up daily and the service is nearly 500 million active users said Pavel Durov the founder and owner of Telegram.

Whatsapp currently is the largest messaging service in the world with over 2 billion monthly active users followed by Telegram with 500 million and Signal standing at a ballpark of less than 20 million monthly active users.

“The success for Telegram hinges on the mobile operators introducing Telegram bundles as most markets in the world prefer social media bundles over data bundles, said Arnold Matt a telecommunications expert based in Cape Town.

“While Telegram is feature rich and much faster than Whatsapp or signal foresee the service struggling to compete with Whatsapp mainly because of user experience and that Telegram plans to introduce adverts in the group chats,” added Matt.

Both Telegram and Signal do not share a lot of user data with third parties while Whatsapp plans to share the following user data with Facebook companies:
Device ID
User ID
Advertising Data
Purchase History
Coarse Location
Phone Number
Email Address
Contacts
Product Interaction
Crash Data
Performance Data
Other Diagnostic Data
Payment Info
Customer Support
Product Interaction
Other User Content

WhatsApp was incorporated in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo!. After Koum and Acton left Yahoo! in September 2007, the duo traveled to South America as a break from work. At one point they applied for jobs at Facebook but were rejected.

The telegram was launched in 2013 by brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, who previously founded the Russian social network VK, but had to leave the company after it was taken over by Mail Group.

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