Signal, better known as Edward Snowden’s favorite private messaging app, is testing a feature that lets users make video calls.
A beta version of the secure messaging platform is now available on Google Play, which includes an additional toggle for “video calling beta” when you go into settings. Users can make encrypted video calls to other Signal users who have also opted into the beta version by tapping the video icon at the top of their screens.
Signal saw a rise in downloads after the 2016 election due to concerns about increased government surveillance. Despite being built by a small team, the app has been praised by many security experts as one of the best for privacy protection.
The platform uses end-to-end encryption. Any messages you send will be scrambled and can only be “unscrambled” by the intended recipient. This prevents third-party interception.
Video calling is an existing feature for many messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Google Duo, so it will be interesting to see if this feature brings Signal even closer to the mainstream.
It’s not clear when the feature will be available on iOS devices. Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Open Whisper Systems—the nonprofit behind Signal—declined to provide further details and said in an email that they will have more to say once the feature becomes publicly available.