WhatsApp has been a long-time favourite messaging app for many with more than two billion users around the world. However, the rising concerns about privacy on the platform have made WhatsApp users rethink about their choice.
Moreover, given Facebook’s past track record on the issue of user-privacy, Facebook’s taking over WhatsApp definitely didn’t help. Although WhatsApp does boast of its end-to-end encryption security feature, users are definitely seeking alternatives. However, Signal and Telegram are the only major alternatives for WhatsApp available right now.
Notably, Signal is considered to be the most secure messaging applications in the cyber world. However, its larger user base has traditionally been limited to nerds and professionals concerned about their privacy and security in the cyber world.
Signal Readying To Go Mainstream
Interestingly, Brian Acton, Co-founder of WhatsApp has also played a crucial role in the development of Signal messaging app. WhatsApp co-founders Brian and Jan Koum had sold WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 billion in 2014. However, he later left the popular messaging platform over disagreements with his Facebook-colleagues.
Remarkably, WhatsApp’s initial versions of end-to-end encryption had also used Signal’s open-source encryption protocols. Brian has been extensively advocating for users’ privacy on the internet ever since he parted ways with WhatsApp and Facebook. He invested $50 Million to join as Executive Chairman in Signal Foundation in 2018.
The Signal Foundation is now growing at a steady pace and has currently around 20 employees. The secured Signal messaging application is also attempting at adding more features and increasing ease of use, besides further developing its security features.
Signal app now also supports sending of disappearing images and videos (similar to rivals like Instagram and Snapchat), stickers, and emojis. Furthermore, the app is also likely to soon offer trial support for storing encrypted contact details in the cloud and group messaging.
Signal’s journey from a three-person effort to a serious project that might soon be competing against the likes of WhatsApp has indeed been remarkable. The company is now eyeing to increase its customer base well beyond the cybersecurity nerds and researchers to reach the general masses.
As many raise concerns for user privacy and security, it would indeed be interesting to see if security features of Signal can actually rival WhatsApp in the long run.