WhatsApp is 'cancelled' but if you're in Europe or the UK you don't have to worry
The change means that WhatsApp users in will be required to give their consent for Facebook to access their data, which will include phone numbers and information about how they interact with others in the app, in order to continue using it. It will also track how long you spend within the app. The rule applies all WhatsApp users, regardless of whether you have a Facebook account or not.
However, due to strict European data laws, the changes will not affect users in the UK and Europe. The update will take effect from the 8 February.
This new policy has led to outrage from users, and people looking elsewhere for messaging services.
According to data from Sensor Tower, after the changes were announced on the 7 January rival platform Telegram picked up nearly 1.7 million downloads and likewise Signal gained 1.2 million downloads. WhatsApp installations fell approximately 13% to 10.3 million downloads.
WhatsApp was controversially acquired by Facebook in 2014, and has been sharing data with its mother company since 2016. So if you want to find a new system to message with these are our suggestions...
Our 3 favourite alternatives to WhatsApp:
Telegram’s key feature is that it prides itself on security. It states that all its activities including chats, and media shared between users, are totally end-to-end encrypted meaning no trace is left on Telegram’s servers. The app also lets you set 'self-destruct' timers on messages and media that you have shared and the timers range from two seconds to one week. It's built-in feature ‘Secret Chat’ might appeal to those of you who have been put off by WhatsApp.
Signal is reported to be 'the most private' messaging service available. This platform also offers end-to-end encryption, so even the company itself can't see what you are sending you friends. Signal famously collects virtually no data on its users... But thats not all, like Telegram you can set messages to disappear after a certain time frame. The only information you give the app is your phone number.
Think of Viber as Skype’s younger cooler cousin. The video calls are high quality and the service is also accessible across multiple devices, including blackberry, Android, iOS, Windows 8 and MacBooks, making it a popular choice if you want to send emojis without fear they won’t display because of incompatible software. It’s free to download, you can also use it to share files and the service prides itself on privacy and security of its calls.