Signal beats WhatsApp to become top free app on App Store in India Credit: Twitter

After the outrage over WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy which elaborates more on the data sharing with Facebook, users have been flocking to newer platforms. One such instant messaging app is Signal which focuses mainly on privacy.

The world’s richest person, Elon Musk is also advocating people to “Use Signal.” In fact, after his tweet, Signal beat WhatsApp to become top free app on App Store in India, Germany, France, Austria, Finland, Hong Kong, and Switzerland.

The app, which has been around since 2014, is developed by Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC, and it is a non-profit company. The app was created by Moxie Marlinspike, American cryptographer and currently CEO of Signal Messenger.

The Signal Foundation was created by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton and Marlinspike. Acton, who left WhatsApp back in 2017, donated $50 million to help with funding Signal.

Signal’s Twitter bio reads “Say “hello” to privacy.”

The App is used by journalists, activists, lawyers, researchers, dissidents, politicians, and security experts around the world, and is backed by the likes of Edward Snowden, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey among others.

Why should one use Signal over WhatsApp?

  • Signal is free just like WhatsApp but loaded with a ton of privacy features. In fact, it is hailed for a gold standard of encrypted messaging.

  • Everything on the platform is encrypted, from your profile photo, video calls, photos and even GIFs and stickers.

  • “We can’t read your messages or listen to your calls, and no one else can either. Privacy isn’t an optional mode — it’s just the way that Signal works. Every message, every call, every time,” says the app.

  • Unlike mainstream messaging platforms, Signal stops other apps from seeing what you type. It has a feature called Incognito Keyboard which tells your keyboard to not learn from what you type on the app.

  • Another Signal setting for Android phones, called ‘Screen security’ will stop other apps from looking into your Signal window and see what you’re typing.

  • The messaging app doesn’t send unsecured backups of your messages to the cloud where they can be read by anyone, including Google and WhatsApp. Instead, they are stored in an encrypted database only on your phone, and only you hold the key.

  • Signal is not tied to any major tech company, unlike WhatsApp, and can never be acquired by one. The development of the app is supported entirely by grants and donations from Signal users.

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