WhatsApp Loses Millions Of Its Users After Terms Of Service Update

WhatsApp Loses Millions Of Its Users After Terms Of Service Update. image: Pixelate

WhatsApp Loses Millions Of Its Users After Terms Of Service Update.

A very badly-explained update to its terms of service forced millions of WhatsApp users to adopt alternative services such as Signal and Telegram. Apparently, the exodus was so large that WhatsApp has been forced to delay the implementation of the new terms, which had been scheduled for 8 February. The idea was to run a damage limitation campaign to explain to users the changes they were making.

Over the first three weeks of January, the Signal messaging service has gained 7.5 million users globally, according to figures shared by the UK parliament’s Home Affairs committee, while Telegram gained 25 million.

In both cases, the increase appears to have come at WhatsApp’s expense. Data tracked by analytics firm App Annie shows WhatsApp falling from the 8th most downloaded app in the UK at the beginning of the month to the 23rd by 12 January. By contrast, Signal wasn’t even in the top 1,000 apps in the UK on 6 January, yet by 9 January it was the most downloaded app in the country.

Niamh Sweeney – WhatsApp’s director of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa – told the Home Affairs committee that it believed the exodus was to do with the update to the company’s terms of service. That update, she said, was intended to do two things: enable a new set of features around business messaging, and “make clarifications and provide greater transparency” around the company’s pre-existing policies.

WhatsApp executives, as well as Instagram chief Adam Mosseri and Facebook AR / VR head Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, are now trying to set the record straight, perhaps to little avail at this point.

 


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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