Signal adds message requests so you learn more about who’s contacting you
For a lot of messaging platforms, it can be difficult to screen messages from people not in your contacts list. Signal is making that process safer by allowing users to have more control over who can message you and how a conversation starts.
Signal is a popular messaging app for those who value security and privacy. It’s cross-platform, supports end-to-end encryption for messaging, and retains little information about its users. While it may not be as feature-filled as other messaging platforms like Telegram or WhatsApp, its emphasis on security and privacy has attracted a dedicated base of users who spread the word about the platform to friends and colleagues. Its adherence to maintaining user privacy has also led to backlash when the platform adds new features like Signal PIN, which backs up certain data to the company’s servers and protects it behind a user’s PIN.
Signal’s new message request feature builds off of the private profiles feature they added over 2 and a half years ago. The team says that profiles are end-to-end encrypted and shared “via the same secure Signal Protocol messaging channel that already protects your conversations and calls.” The feature is designed to allow users to see more information about a person before they engage in the conversation.
Here’s how Signal explains the new feature in their blog post:
Incoming message requests are displayed using the sender’s Signal profile. Support for private profiles was added to Signal over two and a half years ago, but now we’ve cleaned up and simplified how they appear. Signal profiles are end-to-end encrypted and shared via the same secure Signal Protocol messaging channel that already protects your conversations and calls. This means that none of your profile information is ever accessible to the service.
If you’re included in a group conversation, rather than seeing a list of phone numbers, you’ll see the profiles of participants. If you’re chatting with someone already in your system contacts, a new icon in the header of conversations will be displayed. For voice and video chat, users will be required to approve message requests before their phone rings.
To support message requests, users will need to create a new Signal profile. The new features are available in Signal beginning today.