Meredith Whittaker is a figure in the world of Tech across the Atlantic. A former Google executive, she became known as a fairly harsh critic of the Mountain View firm, before leaving the company in 2019. Here she is now propelled to the head of Signal.
Signal refuses publicity and tries to secure funding
With its atypical model, the messaging application downloaded 140.9 million times on the App Store and the Google PlayStore is a UFO in the world of platforms. This figure is impressive but nevertheless remains far from its rival Telegram which has more than a billion downloads. The app offers end-to-end encryption, doesn’t collect or store any sensitive information, and doesn’t keep any backups of your data like the tech giants do.
Gently adding some nuance: Signal is free and will remain free. As the article clarifies, we’re pursuing a sustainability model that focuses on optional donations from people who rely on Signal. https://t.co/3aUDV3Iobq
— Meredith Whittaker (@mer__edith) September 6, 2022
Meredith Whittaker therefore has the task of ensuring the financing of this service which does not seek profit. Quoted by the Washington Post, she explains: It costs tens of millions of dollars a year to develop and maintain an app like Signal “. To preserve its atypical model, the user community will therefore have to give a little money to ensure viability. Otherwise, it will not be able to continue forever. On Twitter, the leader made it clear that Signal will remain free and that the donation is optional.
It is interesting to see that Signal does not intend to take the same path as Telegram, which now offers a paid offer for 5 dollars per month with a certain number of advantages. You can also read our article which goes into detail on this subject.
Finally, remember that Meredith Whittaker has been a member of the board of directors of Signal since 2020 and that she therefore knows its operation well. Besides her time at Google, she is also known for the creation of the AI Now Institute, an organization that tries to raise awareness about the social implications of artificial intelligence. Finally, she was recently appointed as a senior advisor to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Lina Khan on AI.