Many folks hadn’t even heard of Signal until a few days ago where the messaging app suddenly gained obscene amounts of traction and then immediately collapsed under the weight.

The good news is it’s back up, so if you wanted to get on the hype train all aboard my friends. But some of you may still be wondering things like “What the heck is Signal, anyway?” and “Why is it suddenly all over my internet!”

Signal is one of the best messaging apps on iOS and Android if your primary concern is privacy. From a basic user perspective it’s pretty much the same as any other messaging app, though a bit low frills.

The magic of Signal is all in the encryption and security measures. It’s easily one of the best and most transparent services out there partly because it’s all done by the Signal Technology Foundation – a non-profit that’s all about open-source privacy.

But why the sudden explosion?

As Inc explains, it all started with the incredibly late deplatforming of Trump.

Mainstream technology companies such as Twitter, Facebook, iOS, and Google have all finally started taking steps to quell the rise in right-wing violence inciting hate speech. This included the removal of Parler as well as an update to WhatsApp’s privacy policy which had users concerned about data being shared with Facebook. Which to be honest, they always should have been (though it's worth noting nothing meaningful changes last week – it was just a really badly announced message about some boring admin changes).

The key thing to stick to: just be a little suspicious of everything with your data. Especially anything made by the Australian Government.

So why Signal? Is it because it truly is the best app for communicating privately that’s currently widely available? Well sort of, but not really.

It’s in no small part because the newly crowned richest man in the world and thus greatest hoarder of economic inequality, (at least, for a few days before Bezos 'edged' him out by more money than I could ever dream of) Elon Musk tweeted about it to 42 million of his closest followers.

So in short, should you use Signal? Absolutely. It’s great! But be warned, a lot of right wing nutjobs have probably just moved to the platform. It's not a social network, so you thankfully won't be stuck talking to them or trying to avoid them, but it might put weird new pressures on the platform.

If you're looking for apps a little more fun than an encrypted messaging service, maybe check out this one that lets you use your Android phone as a webcam, or get your game on with Xbox's game streaming apps that will soon bring the entire GamePass library to iOS.

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