Since Elon Musk has called for his twitter followers to “Use Signal”, millions of users have been leaving WhatsApp for Signal.
And from all indications, the battle is now Signal vs WhatsApp. If it continues this way, let’s see who is going to win?
In order to calm down your curiosity, this post on Signal vs WhatsApp will answer some of the questions that pop up on your mind.
For example, we shall be looking at the following:
- How did Elon Musk finish WhatsApp?
- What is Signal?
- How is Signal better than WhatsApp?
- What are the best WhatsApp alternatives in 2021?
- Why are people leaving WhatsApp for Signal?
These questions sprung from the controversies surrounding the recommendation made by the 2021 world’s richest man in his tweet after WhatsApp’s latest term of use broke out.
This implies that you must AGREE to share your personal data with Facebook through WhatsApp, otherwise your access would be revoked with effect from February 8, 2021.
A day after this came to public, Musk tweeted at the earliest hours of the day telling his followers to “Use Signal”.
This could have been a reaction to the concern of users after WhatsApp’s latest term of use broke out.
In fairness with the newly recognized world’s leader of all billionaires, there was no place in his statement to say WhatsApp was his target.
Even Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp was also of the opinion that Facebook should be deleted in one of his tweets.
As Musk made his endorsement statement after WhatsApp removed the option to disallow Facebook accessing users data on WhatsApp, his followers interpreted the two-word statement as a warning to leave WhatsApp.
Consequently, Signal claimed to have experienced the biggest surge ever in its Signups a few hours after Musk made the endorsement statement.
While considering the best alternatives to WhatsApp, Signal tops the list and Telegram comes next.
If you haven’t pressed the switch, this guide on Signal vs Whatsapp will show you why you also need to leave immediately.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- 1 Social media and user privacy
- 2 WhatsApp – down the memory lane
- 3 Why leave WhatsApp
- 4 Why Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp merging?
- 5 Leaving WhatsApp for Signal
- 6 Other WhatsApp alternative apps
- 7 Final note on WhatsApp ridiculous ultimatum to users
Social media and user privacy
Social media platforms are unarguably the commonest ways through which people communicate with one another around the world today.
Most organizations take advantage of social media to enhance corporate communication and boost teamwork.
Not only that, social media also serve as a point of meeting new customers and maintain relationships.
This is due to numerous advantages we all find in using social media as a part of our business solution.
Its user-friendliness, accessibility, global acceptance, and most importantly the impact it took during the Covid-19 global lockdown, makes it a smart option.
But unfortunately, some controversies have existed over the years regarding the data privacy of the users.
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Some of these platforms have terrible privacy policies and unstable Terms of Service they created to suite their goals at the expense of their users.
In view of this, many users would rather consider finding other alternatives for any culpable social media platform.
The Mark Zuckerberg’s platforms that comprise Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram have been the major offenders as regard data-manipulation claim.
Several complaints have been raised against the way Facebook tampers with user data at will to suit the company’s terms of usage.
This happens after users ignorantly consent to the privacy agreement of using the platform.
Such attitude by a globally acknowledged networking company are quite unprofessional and it’s high time all internet users weigh its impact on their safety.
This is not to condemn any social media platform but rather to give my most honest opinion based on research and experiences gathered personally and from other users on WhatsApp vs Signal.
As you can vividly observe, I also make use of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram to interact with my audiences, but I can’t take the risk of sharing my WhatsApp data with Facebook when there are better alternatives.
WhatsApp – down the memory lane
As mentioned earlier, WhatsApp is one of the social media platforms under the control of Mark Zuckerberg.
Mark acquired WhatsApp from its co-founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2014 for a whooping sum of $19 billion.
This was one of the most shocking moves by the Facebook owner. In fact, Brian Acton described the deal as a “compromise choice”.
With the recent development on WhatsApp, it seems Facebook had some other plans than just adding this innovative platform to their list.
This development which primarily is an effort to merge the three accounts of a user on their various platforms into one can result in mass data-manipulation on these platforms, especially WhatsApp.
This has brought up much dissatisfaction from the users all over the world and even to Elon Musk.
Although, this might not be enough to leave the platform or minimize your activities on them.
So, I’m going to show you why leaving WhatsApp for Signal or other messaging platforms for connecting with people is very important.
Why leave WhatsApp
If you care about your privacy, the WhatsApp’s new policy that compels users to share their data with Facebook has raised the following concerns:
Users’ activities tracking
According to the WhatsApp Terms of Services, the messaging platform can access a user location, see your profile details, access your contact and friend list, and track your activities on the platforms in groups but restricted from accessing the content of your messages.
In a more realistic perspective, only your messages are secured on WhatsApp, but not your data.
Even if WhatsApp means no harms and hackers break into its servers, all your data such as contacts and other vital information you have shared with someone via WhatsApp are gone.
At least, Facebook has always been involved in several security breaches, which lead to the leakages of thousands of users’ private information.
What we used to know was that WhatsApp is a standalone app with end-to-end encryption, which will soon be over.
Sales of users data
There is a clear indication in WhatsApp legal disclaimer which states that:
This mans that Facebook and its family of companies use our data to improve their advertising services for their customers.
This is an abuse of people’s private life especially that of well-known individuals in the society.
Little wonder, it’s quite easy to get the information of a person concerning their activities on Facebook and Instagram likewise WhatsApp.
It might sound funny if I say that the way WhatsApp has been programmed remains confidential and you’ll wonder,
“Why on earth should that be made known to the public?”
I would say confidentiality in coding is rather different and the more obvious a program is, the more reliable it is as tech experts can easily examine the program to find out bugs and other technical problems.
In this case, the confidentiality of WhatsApp programming seems to conceal the platform downsides rather than to protect its identity.
Many criminals and suspects have been nabbed through their information online with the Facebook company being a major contributor in most cases.
Truly, these individuals are law-offenders but the clear message here is that Facebook has the power to give out your information and even your chat history to the police and other law authorities.
In fact, WhatsApp states “We are ready to respond to any request from the authorities if they comply with the law”.
I’m not trying to promote criminality or going against giving out a criminal detail when it helps crime investigation.
But what I’m doing in essence is to call your attention to the fact that the same tactics can be used to retrieve your data whether you’re a criminal or not.
Proposed Ads inclusion
Ever since Facebook has purchased WhatsApp, there have been speculations that the app will be transformed into an advertising platform by the social media giant.
Ads are said to be included in statuses, profile pages, and other sections of the platform based on user’s activities similar to that of Facebook.
And without tapping into user privacy, the app can’t serve the ads that suit the interests of the users.
So, it appears that Facebook is more interested in making profit at the expense of the people using their platforms.
Users are now leaving WhatsApp for Signal and other social media platforms.
Consequently, the company has faced a serious user backlash since its plan to merge all its apps has been known to the public.
Why Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp merging?
Personally, I have been quite curious to find out the main reason Facebook would want to merge Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp accounts into one.
It’s obvious that these platforms are producing amazing results on their own.
So, merging them is a pointer to some further data-manipulation policies by the company.
Certainly, the process of merging these platforms might involve some kind of automated detection which means Facebook will have full control of your online details at a glance.
Thus, that will give the company greater power to attract more brands and companies to buy user data.
And you know what that means, “more money to Mark’s empire”.
Facebook will never take a step that will not profit or benefit the company in any way.
Anyway, that isn’t surprising as every rational businessman will do everything to increase his ROI.
But doing it at the expense of the audience is a very terrible choice.
Based on all this, you can see that I’m not having any sentimental perspective against Facebook or its subordinate platforms but a general concern for user privacy and safety.
Leaving WhatsApp for Signal
At this juncture, you’ll probably need to consider what are the best WhatsApp alternative apps.
Without wasting much of your time, the best WhatsApp alternative as recommended by Elon Musk is Signal.
Signal is a modern social media messaging app which many people assumed to be a “hidden treasure” until recently that Elon Musk scored it above other social media messaging apps in his tweet.
Don’t forget that it was the same Brain Acton and Jan Koumu who were both employees of Yahoo founded WhatsApp in 2009.
Signal is very similar to WhatsApp and that isn’t really a surprise since the both share a common inventor.
Most of their features are the same.
Signal and WhatsApp are similar in terms of features such as the voice note, statuses, video chat, group creation, end-to-end messages encryption.
Their major difference is User Online Privacy which WhatsApp lacks.
The online privacy feature in Signal is the major reason for the recent spike in its signups when users all over the world started leaving WhatsApp.
As users began to consider Signal vs WhatsApp, it has been found out that Signal has great security features that support all the leading Operating System (OS) be it Android, IOS, as well as other desktop apps and browser extensions.
In addition to the end-to-end encryption of text messages and voice notes on Signal, the app gives you optimum security over your messages.
You can set your messages to be deleted automatically after a certain time instead of going through the stress of manual removal.
That sounds great to so many group administrators!
There are more great features on Signal that you would like to know.
Signal also has a feature called “Screen Security”.
This is a kind of temporary app freeze effect although you can still make use of the app in this mode.
The idea is basically to prevent a person from taking a screenshot of your chats.
The feature also hinders any app be it internal (on your device) or external (hackers) from tapping into your data.
That is also incredible, right?
Signal isn’t done yet.
Signal in its course to keep you protected also ensures that when you call a friend using the voice call or video call feature, your conversation remains secured by generating a secret code which is only displayed to the callers.
So, the trick here is that you can call out the code to your friend to confirm if it matches with his.
Otherwise there is an interception from an external source and you should try to end the call immediately, then probably try again by switching networks.
These are just a few of what you can get in Signal but which aren’t possible with WhatsApp.
No wonder the Richest man too was leaving WhatsApp for Signal.
In contrast to most social media platforms that are usually filled with an endless number of ads, Signal is an ad-free platform mainly due to the kind of programming used in the development of the app, which is, the “open source coding” that makes it difficult for ads to be added.
Yet, that doesn’t means ads can’t be added.
But as Signal made it known, the company has no intention of including ads on the platform.
For now, you’re rest assured of a smooth interaction and safety of your data with Signal.
Other WhatsApp alternative apps
Signal isn’t the only social media messaging app that can serve as an alternative to the use of WhatsApp.
Some other great platforms can do better than WhatsApp but not as much as Signal though.
So, let’s take a good look at the following platforms for your perusal.
Telegram can’t sound unfamiliar to anyone that is constant with online trends.
Since the year Telegram came into the picture, there had not been a really good relationship between its founder Pavel Durov and Facebook.
The Telegram owner is of the opinion that WhatsApp has become unhealthy for people to use since its acquisition by Facebook and said it will never be “secured” under the control of the company.
The platform is the leading alternative to the use of WhatsApp in terms of popularity and it also offers a high level of security and privacy to its over 200 million users.
You’ll also be relieved of excessive device storage usage as Telegram is a cloud-based app.
A kind of target based app which seems to concentrate on users from a specific geographical area rather than a global outreach.
Note that you can download the app from your country but the users tend to be more concentrated in a place which makes meeting new people kind of difficult.
Viber also has about 260 million users globally and popular among its users with its amazing voice note, video calls, and group chats features.
The platform uses end-to-end encryption to protect your messages and also have the automatic message deletion feature similar to that of Signal.
Another great platform which is based in Switzerland and offers its users optimum online privacy is Threema.
Threema doesn’t interfere with your contact list or any personal information. Thus, you don’t need your phone number to register. You’ll rather be given a generated 8-digit ID pin.
The company also claims not to store sent messages.
That is, all messages sent through the platform are deleted once they get to the recipient.
Threema also protects your messages with end-to-end encryption and even your statuses, so no one can steal them.
You can as well hide specific chats and secure them with passwords.
The platform also allows the creation of polls to make the platform more exciting.
However, the backside is that Threema isn’t a free social media messaging app like other platforms.
This may be justified with its awesome security and privacy features.
Is this not better than to “pay with your data”?
This is another great WhatsApp alternative that you can consider at this moment.
The name of the app doesn’t mean the app uses some kind of electrical cables to send messages!
Wire is a dual-aspect platform that offers both a free personal account and a paid business account.
The platform is secured by European Data Retention Policies and therefore can’t misuse user data.
It also uses end-to-end encryption to protect all sent messages through the platforms.
Wire allows users to optimize the size of their media files for a reduction before sharing them and claim to have the best video call and voice call features among other platforms.
The time stipulated messages deletion feature and formatting features are also available.
The platform supports all major Operating Systems and users can login at the same time from eight synced devices.
Meanwhile, Wire is the best recommended WhatsApp alternative for business-oriented users.
You can see that WhatsApp isn’t the only great social media messaging platform on the internet.
Instead of remaining subjective to WhatsApp’s barbaric data policy, you can just go through the list and pick any of the other apps that suits your online needs.
Final note on WhatsApp ridiculous ultimatum to users
It was very ridiculous in the first place for WhatsApp to give an ultimatum to users, coercing them to share their personal data with Facebook or stop using its app.
That move raises a major privacy concern in further using WhatsApp. Hence the company has experienced a great user backlash in the last few days.
What is good in using WhatsApp to share information when your privacy is not secure?
Any conscious user asking himself this question will realize that WhatsApp is a potential weakness in his or her precious life.
Whether this is done or not, Signal remains the best WhatsApp alternative for any social media user seeking peace of mind with his data.