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Ask HN: Who is paying for singal service hosting
29 points by akmr726 3 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments
There is lot of talk about people moving to Signal app for privacy concerns. My question is Who is paying for hosting the service ? I assume they spend quite a bit for such global scalable application. What is plan for revenue ?

I am, and you can too!


It's a non-profit, runs on donations. I use it, I like it, I pay for it, you could too.

Also, as far as I can tell, the whole system is free/libre software, so the scalability question doesn't really apply here. "Scalability" matters to corporations that want to keep everything centralized behind the walled garden. Here, one could technically just grab that whole server stack and run their own server. [This is somewhat of a generalization; if anyone has better insights in this regard, please share.]

Your question also has somewhat of an implicit statement "I won't pay for this, so who will?" There ain't no free lunch buddy. These guys are at the top of their game with e2e encryption technology. If you think that and your privacy/security is worth it, then feel free to chip in. The non-profit structure also prevents sellouts to corporations, so you also have that sort of guarantee.

Signal is not an open network, federated, or decentralized. One can’t run a Signal server and communicate with other Signal users on a different server.

there was some large donation by the WhatsApp cofounder who made millions of dollars from FB

try billions* :)

He made ~3.8B from that sale according to speculation [0] (Sold for $19B, speculation puts him at 20% ownership). He has put $50M into Signal [1].

[0] https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2014/02/19/whatsapp-fou...

[1] https://www.wired.com/story/signal-foundation-whatsapp-brian...

EDIT: See sarthakjshetty's comment below, it looks like it's over double that initial $50M investment now. Thank you sarthakjshetty!

From the Signal Foundations's Wikipedia page [0], Acton's "donation" of $50M was more of a 0% interest loan, that has now been increased to $104M and due to be repaid in 2068. [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_Foundation

WhatsApp charged £1 to use its service forever when it was a start up.

I think it was annually. I only remember because I paid twice.

Both "lifetime", and annual subsciption ring a bell -- I think it may have been platform or location dependent.

Who is paying for the Engineer's whose working at Linux Software Foundation?

My question was with respect to host signal's massive server infrastructure.

Yeah, that's what i meant, Linux Software Foundation is a non-profit organization too. I can assure you they are paying more than Signal just for their infrastructure. For testing purposes, releases etc. I don't even know, how many Engineer's do they have, it's huge, like interestingly huge.

My point was, both are non-profit organizations. As far as i seen this sounds quite interesting to some people but this is what many highly successful companies income model.

IPv6 to the rescue?

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