Explainer: Signal, the new internet messaging app Elon Musk wants the world to use

Explainer: Signal, the new internet messaging app Elon Musk wants the world to use

What is Signal? You have probably been asking this question as the name has been trending on the internet in the past few days.

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In this brief but comprehensive explainer, Legit.ng will walk you through everything you need to know about Signal.

Signal, the new internet messaging app supported by Elon Musk
Elon Musk, world's richest man, asks his followers to use Signal. Photo credits: Twitter/@signalapp, Getty Images/Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz
Source: UGC

On Thursday, January 7, Elon Musk, caused a "disruption" in the world of internet messaging; the world's richest man asked his 41.9 million followers on Twitter to use Signal.

Musk's tweet comes amid apprehension by some WhatsApp users after the internet messaging app issued a privacy update notification that it is sharing user data with Facebook, its parent company.

Now, with the apprehension about privacy issue on WhatsApp and Musk's open support for Signal, the latter has soared to the top of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, at the time of filing this piece.

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What is Signal?

Simply put, Signal is a free internet messaging and voice/video talk app with end-to-end encryption. It is available for users of Apple and Android smartphones and via desktop.

The end-to-end encryption means that only the people in messages can see the content of those messages; even the company (that owns Signal) cannot see the message.

How to join/use Signal

The Signal app is available on Playstore for Android users and Apple Store for Apple users. After downloading the app, all you need to sign up is your mobile phone number.

You can text or make voice or video calls with friends, either one-on-one or in groups, and use emoji reactions or stickers.

With the above, you can understand that Signal practically does the same thing as WhatsApp.

So, why use Signal instead of WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is an end-to-end encrypted messaging app, just like Signal. However, with the app's recent announcement that it will be sharing its data with Facebook, many believe their privacy is no longer guaranteed.

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It is on this wave Signal is riding to woo the world that it is not going to share users' data with anyone, reiterating that users' privacy is truly guaranteed.

According to mashable.com, Signal collects virtually no data on its users.

The only information you give the app is your phone number, and the company is even working on a way to decouple that from using Signal by making encrypted contact servers.

Thus, Signal reportedly does not have any users data to share with anyone.

Who owns Signal?

Signal is owned by Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organisation.

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In an earlier report, WhatsApp users in Nigeria on Thursday, January 23, rejoiced that the messaging app did not crash contrary to what was experienced in some parts of the world.

It would be recalled that several users worldwide, both on Android and iOS, were unable to log into their apps on Wednesday, January 22.

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The development manifested itself just a few hours after the messenger announced that it would be curbing the number of forwards for users worldwide.

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