signal vs whatsapp

Signal vs WhatsApp: What IM Platform Should I Use?

After WhatsApp released its updated privacy policy, the surge of Signal downloads went terrific. Does this mean that Signal is currently the best messaging app? Alternatively, can we simply accept that they are better than WhatsApp?

Well, that is for you to decide after you read up on this article. This article focuses on Signal vs WhatsApp comparison. Get set to see some comparisons without any form of favoritism or prejudgment.

Let’s get underway.

Signal vs WhatsApp: An Introduction

Signal Foundation is a non-profit organization. It has two co-founders: Moxie Marlinspike and Brian Action. Signal has the full backing of Signal foundation, as Moxie Marlinspike also happens to be the CEO. Interestingly, Brian Action is the Co-founder of WhatsApp before Facebook bought it.  As of January 2021, Signal has about 40 million users.

Although Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is the owner of WhatsApp, the CEO is Will Cathcart. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19.3 billion in 2014 and has since undergone tremendous growth and popularity. They can currently boast the fact that their active user base exceeds 1.4 billion.

READ MORE: WhatsApp vs Telegram: Which Platform Is Better?

Signal vs WhatsApp: Features, Privacy, Pricing

Key Features

Both platforms offer basic features, which have end-to-end encryption, and they are:

  • Voice calls
  • Video Calls
  • Chat/Messaging

They also both support group chats, albeit with some differences. Signal limits the number of people in a group to 150, while WhatsApp pegs the limit to 256. You can broadcast messages to several contacts at once on WhatsApp, whereas you cannot on Signal.

The mode of operation of the group chats also differs. You can add contacts to a group chat on WhatsApp simply by having the person’s phone number.  On the other hand, joining a group on Signal is solely by invitation. 

With WhatsApp, you get to use a feature called WhatsApp status where you can posts stories. Signal, on the other hand, does not have that.


File Sharing

You need to share various files online. The world has gone digitals, and you need to meet up with the demands of sending files. You need to send files to your friends, families, work, or what have you.

For Signal, its GIF attachments have a limit of 25MB, whereas the documents, audio, and video attachments limit is 100MB.

With WhatsApp, you can send up to 16MB of photos, audio, and video files. However, not too long ago, the limit of documents you can send on WhatsApp increased. This limit of documents is now 100MB.

Signal vs WhatsApp Privacy

Privacy is a must discussion in a Signal vs WhatsApp evaluation. Even though we get to see similarities in their platform policies, there are, however, differences.

To start with, they both make use of end-to-end encryption. Therefore, any information you share with the other party or person will be a secret. Well, as long as you do not leak it out.

Some things can happen that can make the application like Signal and WhatsApp defenseless.  With this in mind, there should be early detection and immediate action if any of such exposures occur. WhatsApp closed box codebase can slow the rate at which they identify and eliminate these exposures.

On the other hand, Signal runs an Open-source code. It means that the codebase is open to the public, and as such, any developer can work on them. These can help eliminate threats quickly. 

Furthermore, Signal does not dole out neither does its metadata with any business. However, the reverse is the case for Facebook, as the new policy they want to implement will dole out its metadata with Facebook. Metadata such as phone numbers, email addresses, payment information, etc.


You most likely know what is obtainable here, but for clarity’s sake, making emphasis is essential.  Even though Signal is a non-profit and WhatsApp is a private organization, they are both free to use.

You get to use their voice calls, video calls, etc., to wherever location at no cost and no hidden charges. 

Conclusion: Signal vs WhatsApp

Can we assume the superiority of one over another? The Signal vs WhatsApp comparison looks more like a stalemate.  It all boils down to your exact need.

If privacy is essential to you, Signal does it best. On the other hand, if you want more features, WhatsApp is excellent to use.

The decision is, however, yours to make. What do you think?

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