Competing Messaging apps amp up marketing tactics as WhatsApp privacy policy comes under fire

Messaging Apps

The recently updated privacy policy has landed WhatsApp in muddy waters with netizens, something that alternate apps like Signal, Session, Telegram, and Viber have been seen leveraging.

Messaging apps have become a daily necessity for most people as they provide an easy way to communicate and connect with anyone around the world. However, when you chat with someone on an app which does not ensure privacy, the text messages and consumer data can be collected by owners of the app or third-party applications. Recently, WhatsApp rolled out its updated privacy policy, causing a stir amongst its users regarding the misuse of their data, becoming fodder for alternate apps to create promotional content on social media.

Other messaging apps like Signal, Telegram, Session, and Viber have been leveraging these sentiments against WhatsApp on social media in an attempt to attract the raging crowds.

Signal has gained the most out of the situation with Tesla CEO Elon Musk putting out a tweet saying “Use Signal”. It led the app to beat WhatsApp and become the top free app messaging app in various countries, including India.

In a recent development today, addressing the rumours going around WhatsApp, the platform cleared the air by explaining their updated privacy policy. They released a blog post and are using their social media presence to disseminate the points.

WhatsApp maintains that their privacy policy does not affect the privacy of the messages people send their friends and families.

Signal

Signal is a cross-platform, free, and secure messaging app. It has end-to-end encryption, which means Signal itself or no third party can read your chats. Unlike other apps, Signal also encrypts your metadata. The app provides its users with features like screen lock, incognito keyboard option, fingerprint lock, read receipts, relay calls, and more.

After the WhatsApp privacy debacle, Signal put out tweets pointing towards its privacy policies and also took advantage of it by directly calling out Facebook’s privacy standards.

Session

Session is an end-to-end encrypted messaging platform that does not require your name, phone number, or email ID. The app protects your metadata and ensures that your messaging activities will leave no digital trail. Session claimed that it is “built for people who want absolute privacy and freedom from any form of surveillance”.

To promote its privacy standards, Session shared a published article that details the loopholes in WhatsApp’s policies, expressing how it is not a good platform as far as metadata is concerned.

Telegram

Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app. With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos, and files and create a group with up to 200,000 people. The platform offers self-destructing texts which means your messages will be erased in a certain amount of time after they have been sent and received.

To level up its promotional strategies, Telegram leveraged the trending hit against WhatsApp and put out tweets. The app has not directly promoted itself, but taken the funny route to hit out WhatsApp, with memes.

Also Read: CAIT requests ban on WhatsApp & Facebook due to the new Privacy Policy

Viber

Viber is a free messaging and calling app that offers end-to-end encryption. It claims that it doesn’t have access to any chats, which means nothing a user shares can be used by Viber or third party apps. Users can add a timer to the messages, after which the texts disappear. On Viber, one can verify the identity of the person on the other end by exchanging secret keys.

Keeping up with the ongoing talk on WhatsApp’s privacy, Viber has also been on a spree telling users why WhatsApp is not a good option if privacy matters to them. They even shared a meme targeting Mark Zuckerberg.

Regardless of which side one chooses to be on the debate, it is certain that this conversation is a Pandora’s box that will keep sprouting out new twists at every turn. All one can do perhaps is pay heed to the various voices and make informed decisions.


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