Signal, along with another encrypted app Telegram, is the main beneficiary of online outrage caused by the changes announced last week, which require WhatsApp users to share data with Facebook and Instagram.
Telegram said on Wednesday that its global active users have exceeded 500 million.
Brian Acton was the company that co-founded WhatsApp, then sold it to Facebook, and then co-founded Signal Foundation. He declined to provide equivalent data for Signal, but said the expansion in recent days is “vertical.”
Acton said in an email to Reuters: “We have seen unprecedented growth in the past week.” “It is safe to say that because of this record growth, we are more interested in finding talent.”
He also stated that Signal is working to improve its video and group chat features to better compete with WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams and other meeting applications that have been vital to daily life in the past year.
According to Sensor Tower data, 17.8 million users have downloaded Signal in the past 7 days, a 62-fold increase over the previous week. During the same period, 10.6 million users downloaded WhatsApp, a decrease of 17%.
Privacy advocates jumped on to the changes in WhatsApp, pointing out what they said was Facebook’s poor record of supporting consumer interests when processing consumer data, and many suggested that users migrate to other platforms.
The non-profit Signal Foundation is located in Silicon Valley and is currently responsible for the oversight of the application. It was established in February 2018 and Acton provided initial funding of US$50 million (about Rs 3.6 billion).
Since then, donations have existed. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has become a supporter. Acton said there are no plans to seek other sources of funding.
Acton said: “Millions of people value privacy enough to maintain privacy, and we are trying to prove that there is another option for advertising-based business models that utilize user privacy.”
© Thomson Reuters 2020
What is the most exciting technology conference in 2021? We discussed on the weekly technical podcast Orbital, you can subscribe via Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or RSS, download the episode, or click the play button below.