After the events of the last few weeks in which it became evident that major platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter possess incalculable power through censorship and monopoly in the market, it seems that millions of consumers reflected on this and began to migrate to alternative platforms such as DuckDuckGo, MeWe, Signal, Telegram, and Parler.
Google’s alternative, DuckDuckGo, just surpassed 100 million searches per day. Facebook’s alternative, MeWe, saw a recent increase of 2.5 million new users. Signal and Telegram are gaining exponential popularity, both of which are messaging apps that offer a way to solve Twitter and Facebook’s messaging functions, Breitbart recently reported.
Parler emerged as a conservative alternative to Twitter in the face of the sustained increase in user content censorship. Great conservative leaders such as former President Trump, who suffered real cyber persecution of his speeches, ideas, and comments, have migrated to Parler.
For quite some time, it seemed that it would be impossible for there to be alternatives to Big Tech, given that no new firms were emerging that could manage considerable numbers and maintain sustained growth.
The new reality would be demonstrating that a change is possible and that the big monopolies have nothing assured. Although the alternative platforms are far from reaching in numbers of users or searches to the monopolistic Big Tech, however for the first time, alternatives are being observed in continuous growth and with considerable numbers.
To mention one example, in messaging services, Facebook and WhatsApp have experienced a significant drop in new downloads, with many users turning to privacy-focused alternatives such as Signal, Telegram, and Safe Chat.
In the last week, WhatsApp downloads dropped by more than 2 million between Jan. 5 and 12 compared to the previous week. In comparison, Signal recorded 17.8 million downloads, while Telegram recorded 15.7 million during the same period.
Telegram claims to have reached 500 million users. Signal says a flood of “millions and millions of new users” has them “adding new servers and additional capacity at a record pace every day this week non-stop.”
We have been adding new servers and extra capacity at a record pace every single day this week nonstop, but today exceeded even our most optimistic projections. Millions upon millions of new users are sending a message that privacy matters. We appreciate your patience.
— Signal (@signalapp) January 15, 2021
Safe Chat is another recent application that has achieved a record number of downloads in recent times both for its performance and its extreme security system.
Two main reasons have been identified so far to explain the massive migration to social networks. On the one hand, privacy, the new rules imposed are worrying users who are increasingly wary of security and fear their data being stolen or spied on through the platforms.
Secondly, and no less critical, the political issue became evident, especially during the last few months and more intensely in recent weeks. Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter are unabashedly removing conservative content and ideas that are published. They are also silencing the voices of these movements’ leaders, which generates even more distrust because it highlights the repressive trend.
Such is the case of then-President Trump, who was blocked for no logical reason from all social networks, which he used as his primary communication source with followers worldwide.