The new terms require users to share their personal data with Facebook. WhatsApp clarified that it has nothing to do with the messages and profile data, and instead is related to business advertising purposes.The new policy stirred panic among users worldwide, with a large portion migrating to other messaging applications such as Telegram and Signal.
According to the report, reliance on WhatsApp usage among Malaysians increased during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, swelling to 68%, compared to pre-pandemic periods. Even when the platform amended its privacy policies, Malaysian patrons were shown to stay, which majority, or 65%, use for personal and professional communication.
Still, amid the changes, Malaysian users were still shown to be in tandem with majority of users of the platform, creating a mild state of paranoia, worrying about their location sharing (60%), stored private messages (56%), and accessing media files (54%).
The report stated that Malaysians’ loyalty is necessitated by circumstances to remain on the platform, and only 3 out of 10 users installed an alternative app compared to the big chunk of WhatsApp users worldwide, which is said to be 82%, who have installed one or more additional messaging apps recently, like Signal and Telegram, owing to the bandwagon effect.
Meanwhile, the small portion of Malaysian users who made the switch were due to concerns over migrating personal circles (48%), and simply, curiosity (32%).
Telegram is already capitalizing on this opportunity in the coming year, as they have set a target of gaining 1 billion a user base by 2022 – something that’s unimaginable just a year ago.