Like Instagram, Facebook and so many others, Signal is hopping aboard the Stories bandwagon. The privacy-focused messaging app started beta testing an ephemeral Stories feature this week. Users can share videos, images and text-based messages with their friends. Stories will vanish after 24 hours.
As with the rest of the platform, Signal’s Stories have end-to-end encryption. Users can choose who to share them with. Along with groups and custom friends lists, you may opt to share a story with all of your connections (your contacts and anyone else you’ve spoken with one-on-one). If you opt to post a story to a group, others can react, reply to and share it.
For now, the only people who will see Stories are other beta testers. If you don't want to see Stories in Signal, you can switch them off in the settings. This will prevent you from posting Stories of your own, though.
It remains to be seen whether Stories can help Signal to get people spending more time in the app or even to bring in new users. Instagram famously aped one of Snapchat's most-used features with its take on Stories. They're now a core part of the Instagram experience. Not every platform that has tried Stories has stuck with it, though. In 2021, Twitter and LinkedIn both ditched their Stories features after less than a year.