Signal app may soon destroy privacy-unconscious WhatsApp and Telegram

Signal app is the new private messenger making waves around the world. Some users around the world are ditching Telegram and WhatsApp for it. In case you don’t know what the fuss is all about, we’ve got you covered.

Signal is a supposed private messenger with end-to-end encryption so as to protect user data. What this means is that whatever data (text, video or voice note) exchanged is scrambled to the Signal team or third parties. Similarly, voice and video calls are absolutely private.

privacy conscious whistleblower Edward Snowden uses Signal app

Signal app User Interface

Basically, Signal is like WhatsApp messenger but with a focus on privacy and security. Furthermore, the user interface is similar to that of WhatsApp and Telegram combined.

The default blue and white colour scheme screams Telegram messenger, while chat window and profile aesthetic looks like WhatsApp.

Simply put, Signal delivers everything you expect from a messenger app — even a little more — but with a focus on privacy. For example, you can use Signal app for groups, texts, SMS, voice calls, video chat etc.

On the side of privacy, any app maker can claim that that their messenger is private and that user data is not collected. But, Signal is kind of different due to its transparency.

How’s it different from WhatsApp and Telegram?

The Signal messenger is open source, peer reviewed and entirely runs on grants and donations. With this is in mind, it’s safe to consider the private messenger legit. You’re guaranteed to have no ads or trackers. Furthermore, the best thing is that it’s completely free.

On their website, the Signal team mentions that they are not tied to any major tech company. And can’t be acquired by one either. They rely on grants and donations from people like you. In addition, the messenger is available for download on popular platforms.

Unlike the more popular messenger apps like WhatsApp and Telegram in their infancy — Signal is right off the bat truly cross platform. You can download the app on Android, iOS, iPad OS, Linux, Mac and Windows. Due to its robust and ubiquitous nature — Signal has won the hearts of some influential people.

The private messenger has received endorsements from people like Edward Snowden and Jack Dorsey. I’m sure that a mention of those two names has you considering trying the app out.

Jack Dorsey the founder of Twitter endorses Signal

PS: You should try it out. But, make sure to invite your friends to join so that you’re not lonely.

Although gaining popularity, thanks to Facebook updating their WhatsApp privacy policy, Signal private messenger doesn’t have a broad userbase yet.

Quite alright, at the time of writing, Signal has 50 million downloads on the Play Store alone — that’s huge.

But, that can’t compare to Telegram (500 million) and WhatsApp (5 billion) downloads — equally on the Play Store alone. On the other hand, statistics from other app stores are difficult to find or are not publicly available. Why’s it that Signal app has become so popular all of sudden?

Signal App user reception and reviews

Clearly, the development team at Signal are doing something right because of the positive reviews and media coverage. Although the Apple App Store doesn’t publicly display the number of app downloads — reviews are there. Currently, Signal App has over 516.2¬†thousand 4.8 star ratings accompanied by positive reviews. Equally important to notice are the comments from users in the tech community — we got some from YouTube. Below are some comments from fans of the Later Clips tech channel run by Unbox Therapy‘s Lew Later.

Signal app reviews on App Store

WhatsApp and Telegram privacy policy

Well, Facebook have updated their WhatsApp privacy policy and some users aren’t too happy about it. In brief, WhatsApp user data is going to be synced with Facebook and likely sold to advertisers. This move means more user tracking and data collection for better targeted ads. Obviously, some users might think of using WhatsApp mods to avoid this but it doesn’t work that way unfortunately. Modified versions of apps are just clients, message exchanges still happen and reside on Facebook servers.

It makes sense in a way because Facebook hasn’t yet profited off WhatsApp since buying it for $19 billion in 2014. Clearly, it’s been difficult for Facebook to monetise the app — especially that the $0.99 annual subscription fee has been scraped off since 2016.

Similarly, Telegram’s move to collect user data, chat logs and tracking for security reasons has upset users. Telegram has an addition to their current privacy policy on user data. Luckily, not may users know the privacy policy update. So, unlike WhatsApp, Telegram has reported an exponential growth with over 25 million users in 72 hours. The Telegram team expressed their excitement by sharing with their users.

Telegram has reached the one billion mark on the playstore

Without a doubt, it’s evident that Facebook and Telegram are part of the reason why Signal has become an almost overnight success.


All in all, Signal is a good app with tons of features users have come to expect of an effective messenger. But, it’s privacy policy and true encryption is what makes it stand out from the rest.

As to whether or not Signal will continue to grow it’s user base, the answer isn’t clear. Although there’s a focus on privacy, some users on other less secure platforms just don’t care.

Additionally, brand loyalty and ease of use are of great importance for some people more than privacy compromise for marketing purposes — especially mature users. Learning to use a new messenger and inviting or convincing others to join is simply a chore.

Final thought on Signal is that it’s a great app but it just might be more of a niche messenger. Unfortunately, it’s true, the app is relevant to a certain user base. The privacy conscious will definitely love Signal private messenger — not forgetting some conspiracy theorists. Although conspiracy theorists might conjure up a theory about Signal too.

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