Separate update for EU users
WhatsApp's announcement thus causes a lot of confusion for users in the European region. The company also told WinFuture that there is a separate update to the terms of service in the EU "according to which WhatsApp users' data will continue not to be shared with Facebook."
Hopefully, by February 8th, 2021, when the new terms of service are supposed to take effect, the company will provide more concrete details within the app – and not just in the form of brief notices to the media – for its users.
Changes caused a rush to competitors
WhatsApp and Facebook's announcement caused a rush in the past few hours to rival messengers that can be seen as alternatives to WhatsApp, despite the exceptions for users in Europe.
For example, the developers of Signal reported via Twitter that the transmission of verification codes could only be delivered with delays. By now, however, they claim to have already solved these problems.
Everyone should be able to register without delay again. Thanks to all of the carriers who flipped the right switches so that people can keep switching.— Signal (@signalapp) January 7, 2021
One of the reasons for this rush may not least have been a tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk to his nearly 42 million followers. In a message from January 7th, he simply wrote: "Use Signal." He did not mention WhatsApp or Facebook by name. Musk, however, had been critical of the company more often in the past.