Signal's New Texting Features Give You Better Message Controls, Privacy

Text editing and formatting will help how your messages look, and contact removal lets you clean up your contact list without blocking someone.

Mike Sorrentino Senior Editor
Mike Sorrentino is a Senior Editor for Mobile, covering phones, texting apps and smartwatches -- obsessing about how we can make the most of them. Mike also keeps an eye out on the movie and toy industry, and outside of work enjoys biking and pizza making.
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Mike Sorrentino
2 min read
The Signal app logo on a phone.

The Signal app logo on a phone.

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Signal said Wednesday that several new features have been trickling into the texting app over the last several weeks, including enhancements to text messages along with a way to limit message threads with people you aren't in regular contact with.

The end-to-end encrypted messaging app Signal has gotten more popular in recent years as users look for ways to communicate while retaining the privacy of their chats. The Signal team has slowly added features found in other apps. In its New Features Roll Call blog post, Signal said message editing and formatting have arrived in the app -- allowing users to fix typos and add formatting. 

Edited messages include the ability to check the full edit history of a message, so the original version of a text won't be lost forever when edited. Signal is also limiting edits to 10 times within 24 hours of sending. An exception are for texts sent to oneself, which can be edited an unlimited number of times since that's not actually a conversation.

Edit message panel in Signal

Signal will let you edit texts for 24 hours after sending one, but message history will remain available.


Signal is also adding formatting, which includes traditional bold, italic, strikethrough and monospace options. The app is also including "spoiler" formatting, which acts similar to the Invisible Ink feature in Apple's iMessage. Text that's in "spoiler" formatting will remain obscured until it's tapped on, allowing it to remain hidden until it's the right time to view it.

Tapping "spoiler" text in Signal will reveal it.


Signal has also added the ability to remove a contact that's reached out to you from texting you, without necessarily blocking them. This could be particularly useful for a person you've texted only within Signal in the past, but they aren't otherwise in your phone's contact list (in fact if they are, the first step is to remove them). 

Steps to remove a contact from Signal

Signal has added the ability to remove a contact from the app's contact list, without blocking the person from future conversations.


As long as the person you want to remove from your Signal contact list is also not in your phone's contacts, you can long press their name in Signal's contact list and then select "Remove." Should that person reach out to you again, you'll receive a message request that will either let you accept to start the chat, delete to delete the chat or block if you'd rather not see future requests from this person.

Signal's feature announcements come as rival WhatsApp makes a number of its own announcements in recent weeks, which have included launching support for multiple accounts and a new Mac app.

Read more: Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram: Here's which secure messaging app you should use