While WhatsApp is one of the most widely used messaging apps available today, quitting the app is on the rise. It’s no coincidence that people have decided to stop using WhatsApp en masse lately.
Where are they going? Mostly to Discord, Snapchat, Telegram, or WeChat. But a lot of ex-WhatsApp users are now moving to Signal. The Signal app is currently one of the best free WhatsApp alternatives on the market. But why are people choosing to leave WhatsApp?
Here are the five main reasons people are choosing Signal over WhatsApp.
1. WhatsApp Is Owned By Facebook
Facebook is the biggest player in the social media industry, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been extending its reach by acquiring several other social media platforms. And yes, WhatsApp is also a social media platform that is owned by Facebook. It says it right there in the Settings menu:
Why is it a problem that Facebook owns WhatsApp? Data, it’s all about data. A lot of privacy concerns from Facebook could flow over to WhatsApp. It’s no coincidence that a lot of users on WhatsApp are already questioning their privacy. Facebook’s acquisition of the platform only increased the worries people had.
The majority of people that decided to leave WhatsApp for Signal (or similar chat apps) cited privacy concerns around Facebook as one of their main motivators. This brings us to the second reason to move to Signal instead.
2. WhatsApp Collects More User Data Than Signal
Facebook loves data. WhatsApp is the ultimate vehicle for team Zuckerberg to collect so-called metadata. This became more than clear in the latest (and highly controversial) privacy update:
WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information […] with, the other Facebook Companies. [They] may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings.
The aggressive integration with Facebook worried a lot of people. Protestors in America even mass-switched to Signal over the privacy problems, as they attempted to stay anonymous. The all-seeing eye of the Zucc is everywhere, and Signal is one of the few decent messaging app alternatives.
The specific motivation for protestors to choose Signal was the superior encryption, which makes the app a lot more secure overall.
3. Signal Is More Secure Than WhatsApp
Signal was built for security. While WhatsApp also uses partial end-to-end encryption to store messages, Signal goes above and beyond their main competitor:
- Signal is open-source software — here’s the source code
- As a consequence, there is less potential for hidden vulnerabilities
- This reduces the potential for malicious actors messing with your data
- WhatsApp backs up media unencrypted on Google Drive, while Signal’s data is encrypted
- Signal profiles are encrypted, WhatsApp profiles and statuses are (openly) collected by Facebook for marketing purposes
- Signal allows users to send single-view messages, which will not be stored or backed up anywhere
- Words typed in Signal via Gboard keyboards are incognito (can’t get viewed by Google)
These are just a handful of examples. Signal’s data protection methods are better in many ways. If you’d like to add to this list, feel free to send over your ideas in the discussion below this article. Also, share with others why you prefer Signal over WhatsApp!
4. People Are Leaving WhatsApp For Signal
In the end, you’re using a messaging app to be able to talk to your friends and family. With more people switching sides, the motivation to download Signal becomes greater. If someone asks you if you’d like to talk in Signal instead, do you decline?
Most people will simply use Signal and WhatsApp side-by-side for now.
That’s a good thing, because they can now talk to all their social contacts. Once people learn about the downsides of using WhatsApp, that’s when a majority will actively delete their Whatsapp accounts.
Deleting your WhatsApp from your phone is a big step for a lot of people. But it will be easier over time as more people switch over to popular WhatsApp alternatives. Annoying updates contribute to this switch in a major way.
5. WhatsApp Forces Questionable App Updates
Even after massive resistance from its user base, WhatsApp continues to push mandatory app updates that harm the privacy of its users. The questionable updates must be agreed to by users if they wish to continue using the application for messaging.
To me, this feels like blackmail. Give up your privacy, or we’ll make you lose all your social media contacts!
While a lot of people weren’t happy with several updates Facebook pushed through, an initial postponement was the only ‘response’ people received. After that, it was business as usual. You have probably already installed one of the more recent controversial updates, despite all the user backlash.
Signal also provides updates to their application, however, these are actually used to improve the app instead of exploiting its user base. By the way, so do Telegram, Discord, and similar applications. Just avoid Facebook Messanger, because you guessed it right, that one is also Facebook owned.