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Signal’s new features make the switch from WhatsApp a tad more palatable

By Nadeem Sarwar January 29, 2021, 9:46 am

In the wake of the massive privacy outcry over WhatsApp’s controversial policy update a few weeks ago, a user exodus to alternative instant messaging platforms has been triggered, and the two services that have reaped the benefits of the ‘awakening’ are Signal and Telegram. While the switch to Telegram was easier as it offers a ton of useful features, Signal has been a relatively barebones affair, something that the company is now trying to change in order to lure more users. The Signal app’s latest update on Android and iOS has introduced a host of new features that will make the switch from WhatsApp a tad more palatable.


The first one is the arrival of chat wallpapers. You can choose to assign custom wallpaper for each chat, or set a universal background for all your conversations. At the moment, you can choose between twelve wallpapers with a solid color and nine chat backgrounds with a gradient color scheme. Nothing too fancy here and there isn’t much diversity either, but this is still a good start.

Signal’s second new feature is support for animated stickers, something that the platform’s young audience will appreciate. The company is also rolling out the first animated signal sticker pack called Day by Day. You can choose to download more sticker packs or create custom stickers as well using Signal’s desktop client, details of which can be found here.

The third new feature making its way to Signal is a new About section. As the name suggests, it will let users write something about their current mood or availability status for others to see. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, you can pick one from the seven preset status messages ranging from ‘Taking a break’ to ‘Speak freely.’ The aforementioned features started rolling out via the beta channel earlier this month. Chat backgrounds, About section, and animated stickers are now available in the app for Android and iOS via the stable channel.


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