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The Signal Messenger App and Its Rising Popularity in India

May 11, 2021

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The signal is all over. From Elon Musk of Tesla fame’s popular two-word tweet “Use Signal” to your local and international tech group chats, there is a buzz around the latest Signal messenger app. It has been endorsed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Anand Mahindra, the chairman of Mahindra Group. It has toppled WhatsApp and is now at the top of the free messaging apps search results in the App Store. Since Elon Musk’s famous tweet, it has been the most downloaded messaging app in Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Finland, and many other countries. Such a surge made it difficult for the Signal app mobile number verification of new accounts. It has been resolved now.

What is Signal app and why is it gaining popularity? 

Signal app is a free messaging and voice-talk platform similar to WhatsApp but with one most important difference “Privacy”.  In fact, the tagline of the Signal messaging app is “Say hello to privacy”, a line that will resonate well with the users and make them want to trust the brand.

The Signal Wikipedia page gives the information that even though the initial release of Signal app was on 29th July 2014, its stable release on Android was in December 2020 and on iOS was on 10th January 2021.

The Signal app runs on donations got from the non-profit Signal Foundation organization. The Signal Foundation was started by Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp and Moxie Marlinspike, the CEO of Signal messenger app.

Benefits of Signal app:

  1. The messages, audio and video calls, group calls and even the stickers sent are end-to-end encrypted. This encryption technology that Signal first created is now used by WhatsApp and Skype.
  2. The messages on your chats can be set to disappear after a certain time. This time gap can be customized based on user needs.
  3. The users cannot automatically add other people to the groups unless they get their permission.
  4. The messages on Signal are stored on the local end device, which is your mobile phone. The Signal app servers do not store the data nor does it allow the users to backup their Signal chats on the cloud servers (Google Drive or iCloud). This means that when you migrate to a new number or get a new mobile device, you cannot transfer your messages on the new device or number.
  5. Signal app can also be accessed on the laptop or desktop just like WhatsApp. But the difference here is that all the chats that are on your mobile device do not get loaded on the laptop and vice versa.
  6. You can send a message to any user on your contact list. Users who do not have Signal app installed on the phone will be sent messages through regular SMS.
  7. The audio and video calls on the Signal app are end-to-end encrypted. This is shown through the small padlock icon next to the phone icon.
  8. To migrate an existing WhatsApp group to the Signal app, you have to create a new group on Signal by adding just one member of the group. Now, share a generated group invite link on the WhatsApp group that you want to shift to the Signal app. The users can join the newly formed group on Signal by clicking on the link.

  9. You can also send messages to yourself on the Signal app through the ‘Note to Self’ option. By this, you can keep a list or a note of important things.
  10. Signal app gives you an option to blur your profile photo.

Conclusion

The signal is very clear. People need trust and Facebook/WhatsApp has failed in it miserably. It is time to switch over to Signal now!

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