Hyderabad: In what seemed like a fight back after severe backlash, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp put out advertisements on the front page of leading English newspapers in India on Wednesday. These ads comes days after citizens and prominent personalities extensively campaigned to switch to rival messaging applications Signal and Telegram.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked his followers on Twitter to join Signal, which is an alternative to texting apps like WhatsApp, Facebook messenger etc.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
Anand Mahindra took to his official twitter account and lauded Signal by saying “Have installed Signal messaging. Maybe soon there will be a #signalwonderbox”
Have installed Signal messaging. Maybe soon there will be a #signalwonderbox
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) January 10, 2021
The advertisement on some Indian dailies reads: “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA”. Through its advertisement WhatsApp tried to stop its users from shifting to rival applications by explaining what hasn’t changed and What had changed. It said that only messages to business accounts would have their data collected and shared, presumably for more personalised and targeted marketing at users.
Memes on the WhatsApp advertisement are circulating on social media
— Mêmêr (@RohitRoy_______) January 12, 2021
— परदेसी बाबू (@Realpardesi) January 13, 2021
— APNE KAAM SE KAAM RAKHO NA!!! (@SeRakho) January 12, 2021
According to the data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower, the new trending app, Signal received 23 lakh downloads where as Telegram received 16 lakh downloads from the period of January 6 – January 10
In a conversation with IANS, former co-founder of WhatsApp and Signal Foundation Executive Chairman, Brian Acton said the company is targeting to add 100-200 million users in India over the next two years and added that “India is a country that has always been ahead of the curve by adopting the best technology, and it’s exciting to see it happening again.”