A change in Facebook’s (FBWhatsApp privacy policy has pushed users to jump to Signal and Telegram, prompting a record number of downloads for the messaging apps.

The change in policy from WhatsApp, which was released on Jan. 4, caused concerns among users of the service as their data can now be shared with parent company Facebook.

While WhatsApp maintains that messages on the platform are encrypted and not viewable by Facebook, data such as phone numbers, transaction information, service-related data, location information, mobile device information, and how users interact with others can now be sent to Facebook.

Previously, WhatsApp users had the ability to opt-out of sharing this information with Facebook, but starting on Feb. 8, in order to continue using the messaging platform, they need to opt-in to the newly updated terms of the privacy policy, which includes the data-sharing feature.

In a statement about the new policy, WhatsApp said, “WhatsApp shares information globally, both internally within the Facebook Companies and externally with our partners and service providers, and with those with whom you communicate around the world, in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

“Your information may, for example, be transferred or transmitted to, or stored and processed in, the United States; countries or territories where the Facebook Companies’ affiliates and partners, or our service providers are located; or any other country or territory globally where our Services are provided outside of where you live for the purposes as described in this Privacy Policy.”

The news of the changes in the privacy policy sent some users of WhatsApp searching for a new messaging app, and many found themselves downloading Signal and Telegram.

From Jan. 6 to Jan. 10, Signal saw about 7.5 million downloads globally of its app through both the Apple Store and Google Play store, according to data from Sensor Tower as reported by CNBC. This was an increase of 43 times from a week prior and its highest week or even month in history, the news outlet said.

Signal reported some delays in sending verification codes to users to access the messaging platform last week based on the high demand. But the company told users in a tweet that it was working to rectify the issue with a series of new servers.

Signal, however, has gotten the seal of approval from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who told his followers on Twitter to start using the service last week, following the news of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.

The message from Musk also created some confusion among investors, which sent shares of another company named Signal Advance up over 435% based on his recommendation, the New York Post reported.

Telegram also experienced a huge boost in app downloads as 5.6 million users installed the app globally from Wednesday to Sunday, according to Apptopia (via CNBC).

WhatsApp, however, has not seen a decline in users, despite the change in its privacy policy, according to Apptopia.

Shares in Facebook were trading at $255.69 as of 10:12 p.m. EST, down $1.15 or 0.45%.

Facebook hopes to begin making money with WhatsApp by opening it to advertising and sales Facebook hopes to begin making money with WhatsApp by opening it to advertising and sales Photo: AFP / Lionel BONAVENTURE