Signal Stories - My Take

My quick thoughts on the news from Signal - the addition of Stories

📅 08 Jan 2022

I don’t take in much news anymore. Fortunately, I can count on Fosstodon to help me keep up-to-date with the latest tech happenings. I woke up today to see a little bit of chatter about Signals addition of something called “Stories”.

A quick read through some forums and I found, as usual, people were pretty mixed on the idea.

On the one hand, some people seem to welcome more features in the app. Stories would seem to add more to the “social” aspect of messaging and directly address competitors. In addition, it is suggested that stories would be huge in bringing over people that are on the fence about Signal.

On the other hand, some seem to suggest that there is a little mission drift going on here. I don’t think anyone actually used the term mission drift - that’s my own addition. Mission drift tends to refer to whenever a company starts implementing ideas or products that are not core to who they are.

This is a problem for a number of reasons but in Signals case I think the most pressing issue is money. Unfortunately, the more work you have to do the more financing you need. I don’t feel like doing a ton of investigative work on Signal’s finances so this will have to remain very surface level. Suffice it to say, the more features that Signal implements beyond basic messaging, the more money they will need to stay running. If they start running into financing issues, they will be forced to implement features, i.e. advertising of some sort, that I dare say not a lot of people would be thrilled about. Or, they would have to reach out to bigger pockets and competing interests to stay afloat. Yikes.

I really don’t know how I feel about stories. My gut reaction is to say, “Hell no” and tell Signal to just stick to end-to-end encrypted individual and group messages. Nothing more, nothing less. But, I guess if enough people want them then who am I to say no?


Day 95: #100DaysToOffload

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