The announcement sparked rumors about the possibility of private chat data being shared with WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook.
However, WhatsApp has recently updated its website FAQ page in which they tried to clarify that new policy would not affect consumer chats or profile data, but rather explain how companies that utilize WhatsApp for their customer service can keep logs of its chats on the servers they use via Facebook.
Users switching to Signal and Telegram
Niamh Sweeney, WhatsApp policy director for Europe, Middle East, and Africa tried to explain that, besides launching new features for business chats, policy updates aimed at further transparency about the pre-existing policies.
However, the clarification of the new policy seemingly failed.
Each day, a growing number of users are deleting their WhatsApp accounts and turning to other messaging platforms such as Signal and Telegram.
This shift is best illustrated by the fact that, in just a few days, Signal received around 7.5 million new users while more than 25 million people started using Telegram.
On the contrary, data show that, just in the U.K., WhatsApp has fallen from 8th to 23rd place on the list of the most downloaded applications.
At the same time, Signal became the most downloaded app in the U.K in January, according to App Annie.
It is striking that before January it was not even among the one thousand.
The downfall of WhatsApp
The downfall of WhatsApp has been additionally exacerbated by celebrities like Elon Musk who encouraged his followers to opt for Signal.
To prevent the disaster, Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, wrote in a series of tweets that the end-to-end encryption is still being deployed by his company, preventing both WhatsApp and Facebook from seeing private messages of their users.
Another measure WhatsApp took to regain trust was the postponement of the new policy introduction.
Instead of February 8th, the date of the policy introduction was moved to May 15th.
Given the current trends, it seems unlikely that WhatsApp is going to recover anytime soon.