Signal Launches Sustainer Feature: What It Is and How It Works


Signal has introduced a new Sustainer feature that allows you to make a one-time contribution or monthly donations towards making the platform self-sustaining.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what Signal Sustainer is all about and how it works.

What Is the Signal Sustainer Program All About?

The company announced the feature on 1 December. Signal Sustainer differs from the “Donate to Signal” option on the Signal website, which allows you to send cash or cryptocurrency donations that are used to pay for the development, servers, and bandwidth.

Rather, Signal Sustainer’s functionality is built into the app. It also lets contributors earn a badge to display on their profile.

Related: Signal vs. Telegram: Which Secure Messaging App Is Better?

Signal is a nonprofit company, with data privacy at the center of its app offering. This means that it needs to find alternative means of funding itself.

The Sustainer feature essentially acts as a voluntary in-app subscription. This is open to all Signal users but only on the mobile app.

How the Signal Sustainer Program Works

signal sustainer subscription tiers
Image credit: Signal

Users can sign up to become a Signal Sustainer in the app’s settings.

You can decide on your contribution level, select your preferred currency, make your payment using Apple Pay or Google Pay, and then display your badge on your Signal profile.

There are three Sustainer tiers available:

  • Sustainer 1: Give $5, get a Signal Star badge.
  • Sustainer 2: Give $10, get a Signal Planet badge.
  • Sustainer 3: Give $20, get a Signal Sun badge.

Signal Sustainer payments use Signal’s anonymous credentials scheme which does not associate your payments with your account. This way, although the system knows you’ve made a payment, it can’t tell exactly what for.

You can also upgrade or downgrade your contribution, as well as add one-time boosts.

Signal also notes that Sustainer subscriptions only renew if you’ve used Signal over the month. This means you don’t have to worry about a subscription continuing without you realizing if you’ve stopped using the app for an extended period.

Related: The Best Free Messaging Apps for Android

Signal Is Powered by People Like You

Signal is a more privacy-friendly option compared to Meta’s WhatsApp. According to the company, “Signal is powered by people like you”.

Thanks to the new Sustainer feature, it’s now easier than ever to support the company through donations.

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