Signal Private Messenger: Case Study

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Signal Messenger : Case Study

Introduction

Signal Private Messenger is an open-source, end-to-end (E2E) encrypted cross-platform messaging service available for Android, iOS and Windows operating systems.

Developed by Signal Foundations (formerly, Open Whisper Systems) and Signal Messenger LLC in 2014, Signal is the successor of RedPhone encrypted voice calling app and TextSecure  encrypted texting program.

Though, Signal is not a new messenger in the market, but it recently earned lots of attention from world community after WhatsApp announced its new data policy.

People around the world got worried about their privacy and started looking for better and secure alternative, and they found one—Signal Private Messenger.

Signal got its best publicity by none other than—Edward Snowden and Elon Musk.

Once, it got publicized by heavy-weights, people flocked to download and install Signal Private Messenger app on their devices.

History

Early Phase

The Beta Versions of RedPhone and TextSecure were first launched in May 2010 by Moxie Marlinspike (co-founder of Signal Foundation and currently serving as CEO of Signal Messenger) and Stuart Anderson. Later, in late 2011, Whisper Systems was acquired by Twitter. This was done mainly for early support. 

Marlinspike later left Twitter in 2013 and founded Open Whisper Systems to continue the development process of RedPhone and TextSecure. In 2015, RedPhone was merged into TextSecure to become Signal for Android. 

Signal Foundation

After leaving Whatsapp (Acquired by Facebook Inc. in 2014) in 2017, Brian Acton( co-founder of Whatsapp Inc.) co-founded the Signal Foundation alongside Marlinspike in 2018, with initial funding of $50 Million from Acton. Signal Foundation is a non-profit organization that runs totally on donations. 

Why use Signal Private Messenger? 

Signal Private Messenger
Signal Private Messenger

It gives a host of features which makes it easily one of the best private messenger app out there.

If you are addicted to WhatsApp, then you will not find yourself in a completely new environment. Many of its features look and work exactly like WhatsApp; thus making you feel comfortable at home.

Along with the common features, which has WhatsApp like vibes, it also offers some special features which you can enjoy without worrying about your privacy.

Below, you will find the Features and Special Features of Signal Private Messenger.

Features

  1. Text chatting
  2. Voice call
  3. Video call
  4. Group voice call
  5. Group video call
  6. Voice messaging 
  7. Message reaction
  8. Send GIFs
  9. Send Pictures and Videos
  10. Send Documents.

Special Features

  1. Incognito Keyboard
  2. Blur feature in Camera
  3. Flash Camera
  4. Out Chat Camera 
  5. Disappearing Messages with timer

Signal has always been seen as a secure alternative of popular messaging apps like Whatsapp and Telegram. Therefore, Signal provides privacy and security-based key features indigenous to the app. Some of such features are: 

  1. In-device Backups unlike cloud based backups used by whatsapp and others
  2. Everything is encrypted, even the GIFs
  3. E2E encryption of both data and metadata
  4. Independent
  5. Registration lock
  6. Personal PIN system 
  7. Screen security
  8. Deletion of metadata from pictures and other data before sending. 
  9. No third party screen sharing
  10. No third party data sharing

Comparison to rivals

The top used cross-platform messengers in the market right now apart from Signal are primarily Whatsapp and Telegram. Following is a comparison of these apps for a better understanding.

SignalWhatsappTelegram
Earning ProfitsNoYes Yes
Cloud BackupsNoYesYes
3rd Party data sharingNoYesYes
Deletion of metadata before sharingYesNoNo
E2E encryptionYesYesNo
Open SourceYesNoYes
Group video and audio calls and messagingYesYesYes

Data collected by some of the famous messengers

WhatsApp
WhatsApp
Facebook
Facebook
Telegram
Telegram

Although your approval is asked for before these actions, the amount of data obtained by some of the most prominent messaging apps right now is gigantic. 

Below, you can find the comprehensive list of the date collected by WhatsApp, Facebook, and Telegram:

WhatsappFacebook Telegram
Device IDPurchase HistoryContact Info
User IDOther Financial InfoContacts
Advertising DataPrecise LocationUser ID
Purchase HistoryCoarse Location
Coarse LocationPhysical Address
Phone NumberEmail Address
Email AddressName
ContactsPhone Number
Product InteractionOther User Content Info
Crash Data Contacts
Performance DataPhotos and Videos
Other Diagnostic DataGameplay Content
Payment InfoOther User Content
Customer SupportSearch History
Product InteractionBrowsing History
Other User ContentUser ID
Device ID
Product Interaction
Advertising Data
Other Usage Data
Crash Data
Performance Data
Other Diagnostic Data
Other Data Types
Health
Fitness
Payment Info
Audio Data
Gameplay Content
Customer Support
Sensitive Info
iMessage

Signal stores no data outside your device. Anything and everything collected by Signal will be saved securely into your device with a PIN to further magnify the security.

With so many advantages, Signal Private Messenger looks like the best alternative out of the popular cross-platform messengers right now.  

Availability for Mobile and Desktop

Signal Private Messenger is available for all of your favorite platforms, namely: android, iOs, and desktop.

Need to know how to create an account or delete an account on Signal Private Messenger app? Here it is:

Install / Create an account for Android, iOS, and Desktop.

Unregister / Delete an account from Android, iOS, and Desktop.

You might also want to read about Social Media, Different types of Social Media, and Shoppable Social Media.

Danish Abbasi

Danish Abbasi

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