Signal Private Messenger Gains Chat Wallpapers, Animated Stickers, 'About' Profile Section, and More

Encrypted messaging app Signal has been updated with several new features that reflect its increase in popularity, including chat wallpapers, an "About" section in user profiles, and more.

signal speak freely
In a change that should appeal to former WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger users, Signal now lets you set chat wallpapers for individual chats, or set a single default background for all chat threads.

Similarly, the app now offers support for animated stickers, while Signal users can create their own APNG animated sticker packs in Signal Desktop.

Elsewhere, expanded chat list previews display the sender's name in group chats, so it's easier to decide which threads to look at first.

In addition, the update includes a new setting to lower data usage for calls, and users can automatically pause attachment downloads while a call is in progress. The developers have also improved image compression and quality.

The update comes at just the right time for Signal. The privacy-focused chat app recently enjoyed a surge in account sign-ups after a bungled privacy policy update by rival service WhatsApp caused a user exodus from the Facebook-owned platform.

The app also got the thumbs up from prominent Signal users like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Edward Snowden, which only added to mainstream interest in the app.

The last major update came in December, when the app rolled out support for encrypted group video calls. Signal Private Messenger is a free download [Direct Link] for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store.

Top Rated Comments

Apple_Robert Avatar
19 months ago
I am probably one of the exceptions. I don’t need the fancy wallpaper and animated stickers, in order to message with someone. However, if adding these features helps get customers off WhatsApp and Messenger, that is a great thing.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
amg99 Avatar
19 months ago
They also came up with some marketing for data privacy day. I think it's awesome.
[MEDIA=twitter]1354915823501025280[/MEDIA]
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saturnine Avatar
19 months ago

Add a Gif feature and I'm sold ?
Pretty sure it already had it. You press the + button at the bottom left, then choose GIF. Seems to only support Giphy but it works well enough for me. Did you want something different?

I've criticised Facebook and Google for years for their dodgy privacy policies and other misdemeanours. It was only a couple of weeks ago I decided I needed to take my own advice. I'd closed down my social media accounts in 2018 but still used Messenger and WhatsApp. Well, I had to message all of the contacts I speak to most often and make sure they had my phone number. I told them about Signal and then deleted my WhatsApp and Messenger accounts.

So far so good. Some of my contacts have also downloaded Signal and those that haven't have been in touch via iMessage or SMS. I'm not a tin-foil hat wearing, conspiracy theorist lunatic but I do believe in a certain level of personal privacy. Ultimately, the only way to get these companies to change their behaviour is to walk away. Unfortunately, most people won't but at least I'm able to say I did my miniscule part for something I believe in.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
19 months ago
Decided on trying Signal yesterday and I downloaded it.

The whimsical/customisation features it lacked made me want to choose Telegram, but the stronger privacy credentials had to override that.

Pleased that these new features make it a choice with less compromise.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
19 months ago

I am probably one of the exceptions. I don’t need the fancy wallpaper and animated stickers, in order to message with someone. However, if adding these features helps get customers off WhatsApp and Messenger, that is a great thing.
Agreed. I don’t need them either (I suppose they’re ‘nice to haves’ for me).

The main reason those features are a good thing in my book is they make the app likely to be accepted by more people, which in turn hopefully makes the platform more viable to replace WhatsApp/Messenger for many.

I have a family member who moved away from iPhone, so a cross platform app was required for group family chat. WhatsApp was used almost by default…
I’ve wanted to move to an alternative. To do that, aside from the “everyone’s on it” barrier - admittedly, a big one - other problems to overcome are the lack of feature parity (perceived or otherwise). This update should help with that.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BigMcGuire Avatar
19 months ago

They also came up with some marketing for data privacy day. I think it's awesome.
[MEDIA=twitter]1354915823501025280[/MEDIA]
Recently got my family to switch to Signal from WhatsApp (never thought that would happen). First thing I hear is how it doesn't have wallpapers - I never used them myself but that's important to people :).

Very cool ad! That actress was great in Person of Interest! Go Signal!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
General Insta Facebook Messenger Feature Blue

Facebook Delays Plans to Use End-to-End Encryption As Default for Messenger and Instagram Messages Until at Least 2023

Monday November 22, 2021 6:32 am PST by
Facebook, now rebranded to "Meta," is delaying plans to use end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram messages until at least 2023, a year later than the previous deadline promised by the social media behemoth. Writing in The Telegraph, Meta's head of global safety, Antigone Davis, said that the company is pushing back its deadline to roll out end-to-end encryption as the default...
whatsapp notification

WhatsApp Starts Rolling Out Profile Pictures in iOS Message Notifications

Thursday January 6, 2022 1:53 am PST by
WhatsApp is testing a helpful new feature on iOS that displays profile pictures in system notifications when users receive new messages from chats and groups. Image credit: WABetaInfo First spotted by app specialist WABetaInfo, the first new feature for the platform in 2022 uses APIs in iOS 15 to add the WhatsApp profile images to notifications in top-screen banners and in the Notification...
Whatsapp E2EE Backups

WhatsApp's End-to-End Encrypted Chat Backups Feature Now Rolling Out

Friday October 15, 2021 1:09 am PDT by
WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups are now rolling out for iPhone users, Facebook has announced. Until now, WhatsApp let users back up their chat history to ‌‌iCloud‌‌, but the messages and media contained in the backups weren't protected by WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption while in ‌‌Apple's cloud servers‌. Since Apple holds the encryption keys for ‌iCloud‌ Backup, a...
WhatsApp Global Voice Note player WABetaInfo

WhatsApp Tests Ability to Play Voice Messages Outside of Chat Threads

Wednesday January 12, 2022 2:13 am PST by
WhatsApp has rolled out a new feature to users of its beta app that adds the ability to continue listening to a voice message after you've exited the chat thread it was received in. WhatsApp has been working on a global voice note player for some time to let users listen to voice messages in the background while navigating around the app. Currently, if you play a voice note and then exit ...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp Polling Feature for Chat Groups Currently in Beta

Monday March 7, 2022 3:09 am PST by
WhatsApp is working on letting users conduct polls within groups on the chat platform, the latest beta for iOS has revealed (via WABetaInfo). The coming ability to create polls within WhatsApp groups was confirmed in screenshots that show the process of setting one up, with users able to ask a poll question and group members able to choose from pre-defined answers. Polls will only be...
whatsapp disappearing messages default

WhatsApp Makes Disappearing Messages a Default Option With Multiple Durations

Tuesday December 7, 2021 2:13 am PST by
WhatsApp says it is rolling out a new option that makes disappearing messages the default behavior for all new chats on the end-to-end encrypted messaging platform. It's been over a year since WhatsApp launched its disappearing messages feature, which allows messages, photos, and videos to be marked to disappear after seven days. The feature can be enabled for direct messages and in groups...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp Chief Confirms iPad App is a Possibility: 'We'd Love to Do It'

Friday January 28, 2022 12:03 pm PST by
There could be a WhatsApp app for iPad coming in the near future, according to WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart. In an interview with The Verge, Cathcart said that people have long been asking for an iPad app, and that the company would "love to do it." Though Cathcart did not commit to a release date for a WhatsApp iPad app, the Meta-owned company already has the underlying structure in place...

Popular Stories

macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
rootbug

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix [Updated]

Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:33 pm PST by
There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check. The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login...