Signal, the secure messaging app beloved by millions of privacy-conscious users, is beta-testing an Instagram-inspired Stories feature. Who said cybersecurity couldn’t be fun?
In an Oct. 5 post to a Signal community board about new beta features, the app announced testers would soon have access to a new way of sharing photos, videos, and even texts. Just like Instagram, stories disappear after 24 hours and can be shared with all of your Signal connections, a custom list of friends, or any of your Signal groups. In its current iteration, users that turn off the story feature also lose the ability to watch other connections’ temporary posts.
Stories, of course, are end-to-end encrypted just like any other message you send via Signal.
Signal’s addition this week is yet another example of a kind of social media app homogenization taking place online, ushering in the demise of single-use, feature-specific social apps in favor of one-stop-shop networking platforms. Inspired by Snapchat’s popularity in the fleeting, “impermanent” social posting game, Instagram has become synonymous with public and “close friend” 24-hour stories. Twitter and TikTok have since added their own versions of this in Twitter Circle and TikTok Stories. All the while, Instagram is slowly remaking itself in the image of rising apps like TikTok and BeReal, capitalizing on the rapidly evolving market of young users. With its growing user base, Signal is moving along in its footsteps.
The independently-run messaging app is still in the early phases of testing, but initial comments from beta testers seem positive toward the social media add-ons. The “Finsta” might truly be dead.