Signal asks users for optional monthly donation

Signal will ask users to make a monthly donation. The chat app hopes to be able to find a more sustainable revenue model with this. Users who donate will see a badge on their profile picture.

The payment function is in the most recent version of the app. Users can become a Signal Sustainer from that version, the company writes. There are three tiers. Users can donate 5, 10 or 20 euros per month to the chat app. In return, they will see a star, planet or sun respectively as a badge on their profile picture in the chat list. Payments are made monthly, but only if users are actively using the app in that month. If they don’t use the app or delete it, Signal will automatically cancel the subscription.

Payment is only possible with Google Pay or Apple Pay, but Signal says it still keeps the payments private. For that, it uses the same encryption scheme it uses for group chats. A client receives an anonymous identifier that cannot be traced back to a specific payment.

Signal writes that it wants to find a new form of income with the subscription model. The company emphasizes that it relies on donations from users, with the caveat that sometimes millions of donations come in from a handful of individual donors.