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WhatsApp is an instant messaging application that Facebook owns. It is the third most used messaging application, according to Messenger People. Although it uses end-to-end encryption, it still collects more metadata on its users than other messaging applications like Signal.
WhatsApp received a lot of backlash regarding the update which caused many users to move to other secure messaging applications, including Signal and Telegram which will be discussed later. Several users misunderstood the changes and thought it was an invasion of privacy hence why they received backlash.
The popularity of Signal and Telegram led to WhatsApp releasing a clarification on the update in hopes that it would clear up the misunderstandings and prevent more users from leaving the application.
It has also been mentioned that the changes are not enforced but will affect the users' access to features within the application.
Most users who leave WhatsApp have switched over to one of the two apps: Signal or Telegram.
The most obvious choice as it provides better security and supports end-to-end encryption for all communication. It only requires a phone number from users and does not link that number to your identity. Signal does not collect metadata and all messages are stored on your device and not in the cloud.
According to The Verge, Signal has received an increased number of users since Elon Musk posted a tweet on Twitter stating “Use Signal”. The company saw a delay in phone number verifications of new accounts because of the surge in new signal users.
Another good selection is Telegram, although it is not as secure as Signal and does not have end-to-end encryption enabled by default. To enable an end-to-end encrypted conversation, then you have to start a “secret” conversation. Unlike Signal, group conversations are not end-to-end encrypted and all messages are stored on the company’s cloud servers.
Unfortunately, WhatsApp did lose some users who switched over to Signal and Telegram. As someone who cares a lot about their privacy and security, I have been using Signal as my messaging application. Signal is not owned by Facebook and does not track your usage in the app, unlike WhatsApp and Facebook messenger. If you are looking for an alternative messaging application then I’d suggest considering Signal.
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