Despite the recent worldwide criticism of the applications privacy terms, Whatsapp remains the most downloaded app on Google Play Store and Apple Store in Zimbabwe.
In the Facebook latest update, Whatsapp tried to force users to agree to its new terms and privacy policies to continue using it. The new terms of service include a clause which allows Facebook to share data from Whatsapp across its other products. The data includes users phone numbers, their contacts phone numbers, profile names and pictures and status messages including “last online” time.
Since the update, some users across the world have migrated and are still migrating to mostly alternative instant messaging apps like Telegram and Signal. Telegram reportedly gained 90 million-plus users since Whatsapp announced the new terms.
A great number of Zimbabwean WhatsApp users however do not seem to be concerned about the new updates and policies. No one takes time to go through the terms of service, people just accept them to get over the process and continue massaging. I would not have known about these privacy terms if it was not for the trending worldwide backlash of the app.
Perhaps it is also because unlike Telegram and Signal, Whatsapp has affordable bundles. Depending on your usage, you can go through a day using the daily 20 MB bundle which costs just $17 RTGS (USD 0.15cents) which pretty much sums up how cheap the data bundles are. Whilst you will need to purchase a data bundle to access both Telegram and Signal. The data bundle will probably not last longer than you want as it will be consumed by applications that use data in the background such as Facebook, Instagram, phoenix etc.
Almost everyone uses the platform which makes it the most convenient app as you can connect with everyone fast and easy. Whatsapp has proved to be the most used instant messaging app in Zimbabwe. Whereas on telegram you will probably get one or two friends to chat with.