Signal’s new monetization feature makes it easier to make donations

Signal’s new monetization feature makes it easier to make donations

Signal, the privacy-focused instant messaging app that shot to popularity after WhatsApp’s controversial privacy policy change, is adding a new monetization feature into its app. Unlike its rival instant messaging services, Signal runs entirely on donations and this new feature will make it easier for users to make monetary contributions and support and sustain the donation model.

As the company notes in a new blog post, “Signal has no data to sell, no advertisers to sell it to, and no shareholders to benefit from such a sale….. as the sole beneficiaries of Signal, it is up to the people using Signal to sustain it.”

Signal donation feature shown on an iPhone and Android phone

Users can become a Signal Sustainer by contributing a small amount on a monthly basis or making on-off contributions (via The Verge). There are three sustainer levels users can choose from: $5, $10, and $20. Signal notes that your subscription will only renew if you access the app over the course of the month. If you uninstall the app or stop using it for some reason, Signal will automatically cancel your subscription after the next cycle to “eliminate the “dark pattern” of subscriptions you’ve forgotten about.”

Users can make donations using Apple Pay and Google Pay, with the company planning to add more payment methods in the future. When you make a donation, it unlocks a badge that you can display on your profile  Signal also emphasizes that the entire payment process is designed to be privacy persevering, adding that it doesn’t associate your payment information with your Signal account.

 

“Leveraging the anonymous credential scheme that we introduced for Signal private groups, clients make payments and then associate a badge to their profile such that the server can authenticate the client is in the set of people who made a payment, but doesn’t know specifically which payment it corresponds to,” the company wrote in a blog post.

The donation feature is rolling out with the latest Signal update on Android and iOS.

Signal Private Messenger
Signal Private Messenger

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Kishan Vyas
Kishan Vyas

A loyal Android user since Android 2.1 Eclair. Direct inquiries to [email protected]