Element gets paid One app with bridges for WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram

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Element is introducing a paid version of its chat app, which is offered through an Element One subscription. This allows users to use WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram via the service, in addition to the Matrix protocol.

The One subscription costs five dollars per month, Element reports in a blog post. The app supports chat via the Matrix protocol and also allows users to send and receive messages via WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram. These chat services are supported via so-called bridges. Users can link their accounts on those services by scanning a QR code.

The company indicates that it may add support for other chat services in the future. Element listens to feedback from users. The regular Element app, which uses the Matrix protocol and does not provide bridges to other chat services, will remain free to download.

Images via Element

Through the three chat services, Element One users can, among other things, have chat conversations and send images and attachments via the three chat services. Element One does not currently support voice and video calls via WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram, but audio and video files are supported.

The service itself mentions some disadvantages of Element One in its blog post. Users need an account with Telegram, WhatsApp and Signal to use these services through the app. It also breaks the encryption between Element One and the external chat services, and WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram messages are stored without end-to-end encryption. That should happen in the future. Conversations via the Matrix protocol remain encrypted and there is support for voice and video calls.

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