WhatsApp Replacement

Mass exodus from Whatsapp

nytimes.com/2021/01/15/tech … layed.html

Has people looking for a replacement.

Here is a comparison of various contenders.


It is a paid for app but <$5.

I have not tried it yet.


theguardian.com/technology/ … acy-intact

macrumors.com/2021/01/08/me … e-signups/

If you live in the EU. or UK (still) Facebook/WhatsApp cannot apply this as it infringes GDPR. You still have to accept it to continue using WhatsApp, but they cannot share the data between the two.

I do use WhatsApp, entirely to private individuals; I also use Facebook but have only a small number of “friends”, ignore all advertisements etc. And I use DuckDuck Go as my search engine and their browser on my mobile devices … Opera on my Macs with ad- and tracker-blocking (and built in VPN if necessary). If a website doesn’t like that, I don’t white list it and just forget that site.

Edited once.

Central issue is access to the address book, because in most cases that mainly contains other people’s personal data (name, address, phone number, email, birthday, etc) rather than just the user’s own data. If you’re in the EU but have friends outside the EU, your data is still getting harvested by Facebook and WhatsApp (or any app that has access to the address book). That really shouldn’t be allowed.

It will be interesting to see if that is taken up in legal action. As someone in the UK, or in the EU, sharing my address book data because I contact someone outside the GDPR area, must be a breach of the GDPR. I’m not a lawyer, so …



I also like this spoof, posted, as it happens, on Facebook …



Threema reviews. It is very popular in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

duckduckgo.com/?t=ffnt&q=threem … 4-1&ia=web

I installed Signal last week but later heard about Threema from the same person who had recommended Signal.

As one of my friends who owns an internet security company said of Signal “It is a big target.”

For messaging we both use Keybase


Why? Because “Nobody cares about keybase” :slight_smile:

Security through obscurity. 8)

It’s a big target, but a pretty secure one. They can’t lose (have stolen/give to law enforcement) data that they don’t have, and Signal just doesn’t collect much data.


Signal is used by folks in govt and LEO for “official” real-time communications. They are starting to collect significant data for tracking some information but at this point it is not info that most would consider compromising to individuals or content.

In the end you will use an app that others are using otherwise who will you communicate with?

Well, they’re end-to-end encrypted and don’t hold the keys, so all they can collect is metadata. There was a case where they responded to a subpoena with “this phone number sent a message at this time,” but that’s all they had.


Yes. They have been asked to “step it up” but have pretty much stared blankly at the requestor and moved on.

My biggest concern with Sig is how long can they resist before someone imposes “regulation” on them via acquisition. It’s happened more than once. They are a big target and only getting bigger as people move to them.

As a nonprofit, can it be bought?



“Don’t be evil.”

1 Like

Non-profits can always shift business models. Code can always be “divested”. MySQL is a perfect example of this. MySQL is no longer OSS now that oracle owns it. You have to use Maria (a MySQL code fork) for proper OSS. Maria didn’t exist for a while after the acquisition of MySQL by first Sun Microsystems, then Oracle (who actually acquired Sun).

They are all evil. The more they claim not to be, the more suspicious we should be.

Which is what happened to WhatsApp, essentially.


Exactly. The average person will not be assessing (or probably give two hoots about) the detailed security angles. They’ll be using ‘wisdom of the crowds’ / Sheeple effects, and ending up wherever their closest friends and relatives go. Same as they did with AOL, Yahoo, MySpace, Friends Reunited, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp…

They are good until the day – “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”-- comes along.

groovyhistory.com/godfather-mak … ant-refuse

Health food stores which were created by anti-capitalist types turned into Amazon owned “Wholefoods.”

Signal Technology Foundation’s purpose as attested to on their 2018 Form 990:

“To develop privacy technology that protects free expression & enables secure global communication”

“The mission of Signal is to defend, both in the United States and throughout the world, core human and civil rights the right to free speech and right to privacy”
apps.irs.gov/pub/epostcard/cor/ … 951146.pdf

The messenger service is an asset, presumably similar to what Jaysen posted upthread about MySQL.

2018 Thomson Reuters article, by Ms. Erin Bradrick, on asset sale by a tax-exempt entity to a for-profit one:
nonprofitlawblog.com/assets/Sal … adrick.pdf