- WhatsApp has some features that Signal does not have currently like status updates, custom chat wallpapers, and WhatsApp Payment to name a few.
- WhatsApp has GIF support and has a plethora of stickers as compared to Signalís limited sticker pack.
- WhatsApp also has its own payment feature which Signal does not have.
WhatsApp has been facing criticism for its updated terms of service that are slated to go into effect from February 8, 2021. The new policy tweaks how the platform processes user data when a WhatsApp business account is involved and what it shares with Facebook. Users are moving to alternatives like Signal with many tech giants endorsing it. Signal has seen 2.3 million new downloads between January 6 and January 10, according to Sensor Tower.
WhatsApp has been around since 2010 and became the default messaging system for almost 400 million users in India by mid-2019. It became the most popular messaging app and became an indispensable part of users' lives. Now, even as some users have started switching to alternatives like Signal, they miss some of the features WhatsApp has that Signal does not.
GIF support: WhatsApp launched GIFs nearly 4 years ago that users have been sharing as a form of communication. There is no GIF support in Signal as of now, at least. The stickers on Signal are also limited as against the plethora of stickers present on WhatsApp. However, Signal has noted that it will roll out features like chat wallpapers, an About field for your Signal profile, animated stickers and media auto-download settings and full-screen profile photos soon.
Status updates: WhatsApp also has status updates that Signal lacks as it does not support status updates.
Online and last seen: WhatsApp shows the online and last seen status of users who are live or active on the platform. However, Signal does not show online status or last seen, and also gives users the option to disable typing indicators. There is no way you can do that on WhatsApp.
Custom chat wallpapers: WhatsApp recently introduced a custom chat wallpapers feature that allows users to set different wallpapers for different chats. WhatsApp says that by making your chats distinguishable, users will never worry about sending messages to the wrong chat.
Third-party backups: While WhatsApp allows users to backup their chats on third parties like Google Drive, Signal does not give its users this feature. However, the app gives users the option to set up a local backup manually.
WhatsApp payment and carts: WhatsApp launched WhatsApp's UPI-based payment feature in late 2020 with the NPCI and subsequently rolled out carts for WhatsApp businesses, monetising the platform. Signal's Brian Acton left WhatsApp in 2017 because he did not want the app getting monetised, so Signal, which was later taken over by Acton has neither a payment method nor carts.
While WhatsApp has some features that Signal does not, Signal, too, has some features that WhatsApp does not have. Signal gives users the option to write a note to self rather than forming a single person group to send notes to oneself. Signal app also allows users to relay their voice calls to app servers to conceal their identity from their contacts.