The criticism has let thousands of users in India to bid adieu to WhatsApp and when they were hunting for a replacement, Elon Musk's recommendation to use 'Signal' messaging service had let many across and beyond India to stick to his recommendation and plunge into Signal, which had given the platform to record a surge. Signal co-founder Brian Acton said that the messaging platform has recorded tremendous growth and usage in the Indian market over the last few days.
Speaking to PTI, Acton said, " I think the Indian market has completely exceeded all expectations and the growth in the past few days had driven the company to add capacity to meet the burgeoning demand. The growth is just amazing and it's been so fast in the last 72 hours that not too many of us have gotten very much sleep. That's a good problem". Though he didn't furnish details of the number of users in the last few days, Acton said that Signal, which has around 50 employees, has been leading the iOS App Store in 40 countries and is number one in 18 countries on Google Play.
On the front of the competition with WhatsApp, Acton said, "I think in the short-term, people will have WhatsApp and Signal, side by side. They'll learn about the differences, they'll see how we compete with each other. In the long term, it's a debate whether there will be an emergent winner, and you know that's going to require a lot of hard work and effort on our part".
Many Indians had uninstalled WhatsApp by alleging the compromises in privacy and Signal had gained such users through which it has been attaining tremendous growth in the country. Signal is a cross-platform end-to-end encrypted messaging service that allows users to have one-on-one conversations and group chats. On the monetization front, Signal is following a similar model that of Wikipedia as it is a non-profit organization and operates on donations from individuals, corporate donors, and grants.
According to reports, Acton had co-founded WhatsApp in 2009 with Jan Koum and Acton quitted the company following a disagreement over how Facebook monetizes WhatsApp. Acton then co-founded Signal in 2014 with Maxie Marlinspike. WhatsApp which has over 400 million users in India, one of the biggest global markets, has been campaigning to respond to the outrage with its bid of not losing the Indian market.