What To Know About Signal Whatsapps Rival Endorsed By Elon Musk Jack Dorsey
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What to know about Signal — WhatsApp’s rival endorsed by Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey

What To Know About Signal Whatsapps Rival Endorsed By Elon Musk Jack Dorsey

Signal, an
instant messaging application like WhatsApp or Telegram, has continued to
dominate talks on social media platforms.


The spotlight beamed on the app on Thursday after Elon Musk,
CEO of Tesla, who doubles as the world’s richest man, recommended it for


“Use Signal,” he had written in a terse post, which has
garnered nearly 50,000 retweets, 15,000 comments and over 310,000 likes as of
the time this report was filed.

The post elicited more reactions and pulled weight when Jack
Dorsey, Twitter CEO, shared it and thereafter reiterated his support for the
app in a follow-up post. 

The app saw a surge in downloads after WhatsApp’s infamous
terms of service started showing up on people’s notifications. There are also
reports that it has so far secured over 10 million downloads and 608,000
reviews on Google play store.

Shortly after Musk’s endorsement, Signal tweeted that it was
working to handle the surge of new users. 

Here are basic things to know about the app which has
continued to pull the strings across several quarters.


What is Signal?


Signal is a typical one-tap install app which works like
other usual text messaging app. It’s an open-source initiative which is
provided for free of charge by Signal Foundation, a non-profit organisation.


Signal allows users to send end-to-end encrypted group,
text, picture as well as audio and video messages. The messaging app also
allows encrypted audio and video calls.


Why the buzz over


Discussions about Signal in recent times have largely been
about its ability to protect the privacy of users.


This is largely not unconnected to the dust trailing a new
policy introduced by WhatsApp which many believe would breach people’s privacy.


Some people have already started ditching WhatsApp amid the
ensuing drama while Signal has become the go-to-messaging app for privacy-savvy


In a post on its Twitter page, Signal called out Facebook
for risking people’s privacy for ads.


“Facebook is probably more comfortable selling ads than
buying them, but they’ll do what they have to do in order to be the top result
when some people search for ‘Signal’ in the App Store. P.S. There will never be
ads in Signal, because your data belongs in your hands not ours,” it wrote.


Features of Signal


Signal can be used across several platforms including
Android, iOS, iPad, Mac, Windows and Linux.


It has end-to-end encryption based on the Signal protocol,
built by Moxie Marlinspike, an American cryptographer Moxie, who is also the
CEO of Signal. The implication of this is that no third-party or even Signal
can read users’ messages.


Similarly, the app has a screen lock feature while users can
also set a pin to the Signal account to ensure the safety of privacy. There is
also a feature called message requests which gives users the option to block,
delete, or accept messages from an unknown person.


In the same vein, the app has an incognito keyboard option,
which prevents your keyboard from saving what you are typing. Other features
include fingerprint lock, read receipts, location sharing, relay calls, archive
chats, and more.

How to download
Signal app

Signal app can be downloaded from Apple app store or Google
play store. 

This can be done using the following steps:

  • Download and install Signal Private Messenger from Apple
    store or Google play Store
  • iPhone users should tap on ‘Get’ to download the app
  • Select Install. iPhone users may be required to enter Apple
    ID credentials
  • Tap on open
  • Enter your phone number
  • iPhone users will be required to select ‘Activate This
  • You will be required to enter a six-digit code that the app
    will send you via SMS
  • Once you verify the code, tap on Submit. Users can manually
    verify the code or allow Signal to copy it directly
  • Signal will then request permission to send you
    notifications. Tap on “allow”
  • You will be required to set your profile picture and name.
    This name will be shown to your contacts on the app
  • Tap on save or skip as per your requirement. Signal will
    require the sender as well as the receiver to download the app

Several users have taken to Twitter to react to the
introduction of Signal with some comparing it with Facebook and WhatsApp.

Here’s is what some had to say: 

culled: TheCable 

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