After Elon Musk’s tweet, WhatsApp-alternative Signal app announced that it’s experiencing a great number of new users signing up, so much so that there’s a delay in verification codes across several cell providers. Signal also tweeted that its downloads on Google Play jumped from 10 million+ to 50 million+ in just one day.
Following this reaction, WhatsApp announced in a new blog post published yesterday that it postponed the enforcement of the new privacy terms from February 8 to May 15. The company stated in the blog post that too much disinformation was spread on the subject and said “There’s been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts.”
Thank you to everyone who’s reached out. We’re still working to counter any confusion by communicating directly with @WhatsApp users. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on Feb 8 and we’ll be moving back our business plans until after May – https://t.co/H3DeSS0QfO— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) January 15, 2021
The company had announced on Monday that Facebook does not have access to WhatsApp messages. However, this statement did not make a big difference in the attitude of its users so the company detailed its statement in its latest announcement.
WhatsApp reiterated that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook could see users’ personal messages. In addition, the company stated that it doesn’t keep records of contacts, messages, and calls. “ It’s why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook.” the company said in a statement.
Repeating that the new update offers new options for users to send messages to businesses via WhatsApp, the company said “While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.”
“No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.”