Telegram like Signal has now emerged as an alternative to WhatsApp. Apart from this, these apps have also got good endorsement from Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who have openly supported Signal and Telegram in place of WhatsApp.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp is clarifying about its policy update that it will not make any difference to the data and privacy of regular users. But in the meantime, a large number of users are continuously increasing on apps like Signal and Telegram, which have emerged as an alternative to WhatsApp.
Signal is run by a non-profit organization. Its co-founder is Brian Acton, who has also been the founder of WhatsApp. Acton and Jan Koum sold WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014. After this, in 2017, Acton left the company, the reason behind which was told that Facebook had some dispute regarding the monetization of WhatsApp.
NDTV has now taken an interview of Acton, in which he has given information about Signal’s Indian plans. Apart from this, apart from the donation only business model, he has given information about how the signal platform is different from WhatsApp.
NDTV: Signal is currently at the top of the App Store globally. With what speed is the signal growing?
Brian Acton’s answer: We are expanding our servers so that we have enough capacity for our users. Right now the way the number of people has increased on our app, we have managed it. Obviously I have this kind of experience because I have been in the industry for a long time. Furthermore, we are excited because a lot of Indian people have signed up to Signal in the past few days. We are eager to receive feedback from Indian users on our platform. I know people are eager to try and explore Signal and this is an opportunity for us to grow.
Signal is now being compared to WhatsApp. Are both your products competing with each other now? How do you like it? What are the features in Signal that make it ahead of WhatsApp?
I think where Signal can be seen scoring ahead of WhatsApp is in the privacy category. You can see this as a privacy label on the App Store for iPhone apps. We have privacy features, things like disappearing messages. Everything is encrypted here, including metadata. WhatsApp has 400 million users in India. This is a big market. We look forward to introducing our product to Indian users. We want to give them an option where they don’t have to compromise on their online privacy, digital privacy.
Signal has so far relied on phone numbers that are still linked to users’ identities. Are you planning to introduce User ID which will make users completely safe?
I think we can work on these ideas. With this, users will get another help for privacy protection. Our aim is to make the privacy of the users secure, for which we are committed. This is the feature we get the most suggestions for.
What are your plans for growth in India? Will you also bring language support to move forward in India? Apart from this, according to India, will some new features be added there?
India is a country with a diverse culture. We are already providing language support there. We are providing support in 12 different languages including Hindi. Urdu is also included in this. We’ve got some great tips from India. I have very good friends and colleagues in India who live in Tamil Nadu Erode. I talk to him every day. He tells me what is going on in India. This helps me to understand the market there. He gives me product ideas. India is such a strong representation of the world that if you build for India, you build for the world.
Have you ever been to India? When can we see you in India?
Yes, I have been to India twice. I have been there in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and other places. I wish to see the Taj Mahal, which I have not seen yet. Although I want to go back to Bangalore and Mumbai as well.