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Signal

Messaging app Signal has witnessed “unexpected” growth following a controversial change in WhatsApp’s privacy term and is looking to hire more staff as the messaging app is planning to boost the service and supporting infrastructure.

Along with another encrypted app, Telegram, Signal has been the main beneficiary of online outrage around the changes announced last week, which require WhatsApp users to share their data with both Facebook and Instagram.

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Telegram said on Wednesday it had surpassed 500 million active users globally. Brian Acton, who co-founded WhatsApp before selling it to Facebook and then co-founding the Signal Foundation, declined to give equivalent data for Signal but said that the expansion in recent days had been “vertical”. “We’ve seen unprecedented growth this past week,” Acton said in an email to Reuters.

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He also said Signal was working to improve its video and group chat functions, making it a better user-friendly messaging app than WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, and other conferencing apps.

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Signal was downloaded by 17.8 million users over the past seven days. WhatsApp was downloaded by 10.6 million users during the same period, a 17% decline.