Signal now lets you upload Stories like WhatsApp or Instagram

8 Nov 2022

Image: Signal

Stories on Signal will be end-to-end encrypted and come without any ads or ‘spammy content’, said president Meredith Whittaker.

Signal, the encrypted messaging app alternative to WhatsApp and Telegram, has launched a Stories feature for its users.

The platform said in a blogpost that Stories was one of the most requested features by people across the world. “People use them, people want them, so we’re providing a way to do stories privately. And without having to wade through a sea of ads,” the announcement read.

Signal is known for its free end-to-end encrypted messaging service, popular among users who prioritise privacy.

It was started in 2014 and got a boost in 2018 with $50m in funding from Brian Acton to establish the Signal Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to developing open-source privacy tech for communications. Acton previously co-founded WhatsApp.

“Stories have emerged to serve these specific functions and others in the broader communications landscape, and many of us have integrated them as one of the ways that we connect with one another,” Signal’s recent blogpost read.

“That’s why they have a natural place in any messaging app, including Signal.”

As with most other apps, Stories on Signal will be visible for 24 hours and can be deleted earlier if the user wishes. Users can also decide who can view their Stories updates and even opt out of the feature altogether.

“Sometimes you just need a chill way to show your crush that you went to a very cool concert, without having to text them,” the blog went on.

The feature is now available on the Signal Android and iOS apps, and will soon be available on desktop.

Meredith Whittaker, the former Google manager who became Signal’s president two months ago, tweeted that the Stories feature is about “just updates from your friends” without any “endless ads” or “spammy content”.

This is one of the first big moves by Signal under her presidency. “As Signal’s president, I will do everything I can to build on Signal’s firm foundation and vision, and to create a rich soil where Signal can continue to grow and thrive,” Whittaker said at the time of her appointment.

Meanwhile, rival messaging app Telegram has also come out with a host of new features. This includes topics to organise group discussions, a new form of collectible usernames secured on the blockchain, and an option to convert video messages into text.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic