Science-Technology

Balking at forced update, users jump ship from WhatsApp

Users object to popular messaging app's new data sharing with Facebook, pushing them to seek alternatives

Tolga Yanik   | 10.01.2021
Balking at forced update, users jump ship from WhatsApp

ISTANBUL 

After popular messaging app WhatsApp forced many users to agree to new privacy rules, they are seeking alternatives for their smartphones.

With the changes, Telegram Messenger has become the most downloaded messaging app in Apple’s App Store in Turkey, Anadolu Agency has learned.

In second place is Signal, an app recommended by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, followed by WhatApp itself, and BiP, an app by Turkish mobile network giant Turkcell.

For Android users, Telegram Messenger was first in the Play Store, followed by WhatsApp and BiP.

BiP gained over 1.12 million users in just 24 hours, boasting over 53 million users worldwide, according to data shared by Turkcell.

Last week, WhatsApp sent its updated privacy policy to its users.

The changes include sharing personal data, such as account information, messages, and location information with Facebook companies. It said the app could not be used unless the terms are accepted.

Following a backlash, WhatsApp announced that users in the “Europe Region” would not be affected by the update, as their data would not be shared with Facebook companies.

But according to the app’s website, the region in question only includes EU countries, effectively forcing users in Turkey to approve the conditions to continue using the app.

Some have decried the app’s double standard, saying WhatsApp fears penalties from EU countries under data security rules.

​​​​​​​*Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara

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