The encrypted messaging app Signal has become quite popular with millions of downloads on iOS and Android, and its underlying technology has been integrated with the chat platforms used by billions of people. Signal has done all this with only a handful of developers. Now, Signal is growing into the Signal Foundation. With $50 million in initial funding, this nonprofit will continue building on Signal's success to support private communication.
Signal uses end-to-end encryption, so your messages and images are safe from prying eyes. The encryption developed by Signal has become a sort of gold standard for secure communication. Since it's open source, Signal has been used in other chat products like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Google Allo.
Signal says it's done all this with an average of 2.3 developers over the years, and there have never been more than seven people actively working on Signal. Funding from Freedom Of The Press Foundation and other sponsors has kept Signal going, but now it's becoming a true 501(c)(3) nonprofit. WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, who left Facebook last year, has personally donated $50 million to start the Signal Foundation. This means Signal can add staff and eliminate the uncertainty that has plagued the project since its inception.
You can get Signal in the Play Store. It is, of course, completely free. It's only for phones right now, but maybe the promised tablet support will materialize now that Signal has real funding.