The WhatsApp Controversy
Rise of Competitors
This US app, launched in 2018, had around 20 million monthly users by the end of December 2020. It saw a sensational rise in recent days. According to App Annie’s reports, between January 6 to January 10, 2021, Signal was downloaded more than 7.5 million times.
“At Signal, we don’t accumulate any user data. Users in India and across the world can notice that and resonate with Signal’s vision. The sort of shift we have witnessed in such a brief time span is evidence of that. We are dedicated to keep the momentum going, to working harder, and to keep preserving everyone on Signal.”
– Brian Acton, Founder, Signal
Signal knows now is the best opportunity to seize the moment. Hence they are introducing many features that resemble WhatsApp’s. This basically concludes the fact that Signal doesn’t want to lose this opportunity and doesn’t want the users to look back at WhatsApp.
Here are some characteristics that Signal has adopted from WhatsApp –
1) Status update
Signal has introduced a new feature in its Beta version. Now, the Signal users can write something about themselves just like they could on Whatsapp. Moreover, Signal has also rolled in the feature to update status and stories.
2) Chat wallpaper
Signal has introduced a new option in its latest beta update that would allow its users to change their chat wallpaper. This feature was not previously present in the app.
3) Animated Stickers
Signal introduced animated stickers with the first pack called “Day by Day”. Today, it also allows users to import third party animated stickers.
WhatsApp had enabled users to share customized stickers with friends and family last year. It was an instant success. Following the path, Signal is also working on the same, and it is expected to show up in the next update of the beta version.
4) Group calls
Recently, Signal has upgraded its group calling feature, which now supports Eight people as compared to the previous version, which supported only five.
5) Group invite link
Another feature that was copied from WhatsApp is the Group Sharable link. To lure in more users, Signal will now permit users to post a shareable group invite link. The purpose is to invite other Signal users to join the groups.
Amidst all this, it will be interesting to see how Facebook-owned WhatsApp tries to convince and keep its users. More importantly, what steps will WhatsApp take to win the trust back.