Signal is a leading messaging service that utilizes advanced encryption for sending one-on-one as well as group messages. A free and open source software, Signal can be used for sending text, images, videos, voice notes and other files. It can also be used for voice and video calls. Signal is available for use on Android, iOS and desktop machines (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux distributions).
As concerns about data security and privacy have increased in recent years, many people are preferring to use encrypted messaging platforms such as Signal. Apart from the assurance of advanced encryption, another key benefit of Signal is that users can check the identity of their contacts in an independent manner. They can also verify the integrity of the data channel.
Signal was officially launched in 2014, but its story can be traced back to 2010. At that time, programs like TextSecure (encrypted text messaging) and RedPhone (encrypted voice calling) were made available by Whisper Systems. The startup was acquired by Twitter in 2011. Later, Whisper Systems’ founder Moxie Marlinspike left Twitter and founded a new company ‘Open Whisper Systems’. The objective was to continue development of RedPhone and TextSecure.
In 2014, RedPhone and TextSecure were combined to create a new platform named Signal. The company got a significant boost in 2018 when WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton joined hands with Marlinspike and invested $50 million in Signal.
Signal has received most of its investments in the form of donations and grants. Some of the key investors include Freedom of the Press Foundation, Shuttleworth Foundation, Knight Foundation and Open Technology Fund. The company continues to seek donations to keep the platform running and for its further development.
Signal has not made any acquisitions in recent times. However, it may be open to possibilities that may emerge in the future.
Signal competes with other messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Telegram, Viber, Tencent QQ, Slack, Facebook Messenger, eBuddy XMS and Discord.
About the founders:
Signal Foundation, the parent company that owns Signal app, was co-founded by Moxie Marlinspike and Brian Acton in 2018. Marlinspike is a computer security researcher, cryptographer and an American entrepreneur. He currently serves as the CEO of Signal Messenger LLC. Earlier, he had worked with Twitter as the company’s head of security team.
Co-founder Brian Acton is an internet entrepreneur and a computer programmer. He currently serves as the executive chairman of Signal Foundation. Earlier, he had worked with Yahoo! He is also credited with co-founding WhatsApp.