Musk's nearly 43 million Twitter
Had they read the bold print, they'd have realized that Signal Advance isn't a messaging service at all. All along, investors had been buying shares in a components manufacturer with just one employee, according to CNBC.
But last week's frenzy seems to indicate that investors believe that WhatsApp could be on its way out and that rivals like Signal and Telegram are on the way in.
The question is, are these investors right?
The controversy began when WhatsApp gave users until February 8 to agree to updated service terms. Privacy hawks read between the lines of the new terms and picked up on words like "storing data with Facebook."
The implications lead to cries of outrage from privacy hawks, users, and even a few nation-states. It's this outrage that explains surging downloads for rival messaging apps like Signal and Telegram. But this outrage is mostly unfounded.
Facebook has been harvesting metadata from WhatsApp users for years, with little to no controversy. But many mistakenly believed that the new terms of service implied that Facebook would be able to store private conversations on its servers.
In reality, the new rules enabled businesses to store their private conversations with customers on Facebook's servers. Companies could then leverage these conversations to make marketing decisions, including buying ads on Facebook.
A recent blog post from WhatsApp emphasizes that end to end encryption will not be affected by the new rule changes. Such encryption will prevent Facebook or WhatsApp from seeing the content of messages even after the new terms of service go into effect on May.
But what of the current exodus to Signal and Telegram? Is it the result of a momentary panic or indicative of a larger trend? History would say it's the former.
Facebook pushes to get more data from its users every few years, and users often push back. There's usually turmoil on the surface but calm among the larger share of Facebook's users.
Data from Apptopia reveals people are still using WhatsApp now as much as ever, according to Bloomberg. That's because the more people use an app, the more useful it becomes, and therefore the less likely people are to leave it.
With a user base of 2 billion strong, it will take more than a tweet from Elon Musk for Telegram or Signal to dethrone WhatsApp as the world's dominant messaging platform.