Paytm and PhonePe, both of which are threatened by WhatsApp’s recent entry into payments, used the controversy to encourage their teams to shift out of WhatsApp. Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel & Power is moving out too.
Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group, has just installed Signal. Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran has been using Signal for some time with several of the group’s senior leadership also using the same platform.
Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma told TOI he has asked everyone in his team to move from WhatsApp for work communications. “It is clear that we will move off formally from WhatsApp,” Sharma told TOI.
PhonePe co-founder Sameer Nigam has moved around half of his team to Signal, along with his office groups, according to a series of tweets from him on Monday.
In response to a tweet from serial entrepreneur and Cred founder Kunal Shah that network effects are like religion and most people like to stay in what they were born in, Nigam tweeted, “This time is diff (different). Product wise, Signal has arrived! Moved 1000+ @PhonePe-rs to Signal. Recreated all my work groups. Moved my family groups. Seamlessly. Zero switching cost,” he said.
@kunalb11 This time is diff. Product wise, Signal has arrived! Moved 1000+ @PhonePe-rs to Signal. Recreated all m… https://t.co/dqEjCGhAUy
— Sameer.Nigam (@_sameernigam) 1610345798000
Jindal Steel & Power’s chief HR officer Pankaj Lochan said, “The company is looking at the need of moving away from WhatsApp and considering shifting its day-to-day critical official communication from WhatsApp to the relatively safer messaging platforms like Signal, Telegram, or Google Chat/Meet. Since Gmail is the company’s official platform, there is a thought to make Google Chat/Meet the official channel for communication. The challenge at manufacturing units would be to integrate everyone at the level of frontline workers and those who may not have email accounts.”
WhatsApp’s privacy changes, which include sharing of certain data sets with Facebook, will be effective from next month. The controversy comes at a time when WhatsApp’s daily downloads have touched its lowest since September 2020, according to data from app tracker Sensor Tower.
Even in Silicon Valley, prominent voices have called for a shift out of WhatsApp. Investor and former senior Facebook employee Chamath Palihapitiya tweeted that WhatsApp had just killed its best feature — privacy. “Please no longer text me on WhatsApp. Download @signalapp,” his tweet said.
Starting in Feb, WhatsApp will begin sharing all kinds of data with Facebook. They just killed their best feature -… https://t.co/RGOn0pYrfV
— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) 1610293989000
Earlier, Tesla’s founder Elon Musk tweeted urging people to use Signal.