'Signal' stays reachable in the Indian market with strong message amid outrage against WhatsApp!

Powered by the global surge, 'Signal' messaging service has now put out a strong message to the Indian market that it is a potential replacer for WhatsApp after the Facebook-owned messaging service has been caught up with the unprecedented criticism for its controversial privacy policy that many users claimed that it would compromise in the security and privacy standards. 

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. 

He stated, "I think when people think about their conversations, they want very simple and straightforward terms of service and privacy policy, Signal gives them that. It presents a very straightforward product, privacy-preserving, no advertising, no user tracking, and your data is your own". By citing that everything in Signal is encrypted or its not stored, Acton stated that the company is open to engaging with the government and policymakers to discuss various aspects of data protection and privacy. 

 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".

"So, I think that it's a story that will unfold over the next year. I'm just excited about this opportunity to approach the Indian market. I was never expecting such a strong reaction", Acton added. His remarks have come at a high time when WhatsApp has been trying to fix the controversy and outrage surfaced around it. In an unprecedented fashion, WhatsApp has come under fire in India over its privacy policy that included a chaotic change of linking data of WhatsApp users to Facebook's other products and services. 

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. 

On Wednesday, WhatsApp had issued full-page advertisements in leading newspapers explaining that the latest update won't affect privacy. WhatsApp has come under criticism over its privacy policy update that took place last week and will be applicable from February 8. On Tuesday, the messaging platform has said that a change in its recently revised policy doesn't affect the privacy of messages with friends or family and claimed that the update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp. Taking to Twitter, WhatsApp said, "We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear, we continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption". 

Must-read: In rival with Signal, WhatApp claims it is 'clean': Here's what it has said amid privacy policy row!