OK, so what is Signal?

Signal is a free, privacy-focused messaging and voice talk app you can use on Apple and Android smartphones and via desktop. All you need is a phone number to join. You can text or make voice or video calls with friends, either one-on-one or in groups, and use emoji reactions or stickers just like in other apps. But there’s one big difference: Signal is actually really private.

Why Signal?

While the policy isn’t new, the dustup has drawn attention to WhatsApp’s data sharing practices with Facebook which many people might not have read before clicking “agree.” That may be encouraging users to jump ship, with Signal proving to be the most popular alternative.Signal is another free app that provides encrypted messaging, calling and video chat. “Encrypted” means that the contents of messages are scrambled until they reach the recipient, and no intermediary can view them. The app is run by the nonprofit Signal Foundation, which launched in 2018 with the help of WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton, who left WhatsApp and Facebook the prior year.Acton said in a 2018 statement announcing the launch of the foundation that Signal aims to build “sustainable technology that respects users and does not rely on the commoditization of personal data.”

Amid the rush of new sign-ups, Signal is rolling out new features similar to those on WhatsApp, such as wallpaper backgrounds for chats and an “about” section for user profiles. And a new Apple (AAPL) policy requiring that apps provide a label detailing their privacy practices on the App Store may make it easier for users to compare various messaging apps’ policies.
Signal did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the rush of new sign-ups.
The app has received some high profile endorsements. Tesla (TSLA)’s Musk on January 7 tweeted: “Use Signal.” Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey retweeted it, and later posted an image of Signal at the top of the App Store chart, captioning it with a heart.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden also retweeted Musk’s post, adding the message: “That’s @signalapp, for those who don’t speak Elon.”
Though their tweets didn’t mention Facebook or WhatsApp, both Musk and Dorsey have previously criticized the social media giant.

Image via Mashable asia

Sources ; CNN BUSINESS , Mashable