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(Pocket-lint) - Instant messaging platform Signal has rolled out its stories feature to the public, but don't worry. You can turn it off, too.

Stories seem to be available in just about every app we have installed on our phones right now, with Instagram, Facebook, and others all jumping on the bandwagon. Now, Signal has done the same and you can watch short videos from your friends and read messages from your grandma, all in the same app.

Signal was already testing the feature with some people, but now it's confirmed it is available to all. The ephemeral videos and images sit in a new tab at the bottom of the app's home screen. You can of course watch stories shared by others, but you can also share images, video, and text updates of your own - so long as you're using Signal 6.0 or later on iPhone or Android, that is. Signal says the app updates should be in the App Store and Google Play Store soon if they aren't already.

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Don't want to deal with stories in your messages? No problem, Signal says that it knows that some people might feel that way. That's why you can turn the feature off altogether within the app's settings. Note that your choice won't be broadcast to everyone, though. That could lead to strange situations where people wonder why you aren't checking out their oh-so-hilarious videos. You'll just have to tell them yourself.

For those who do want to use stories, Signal has added a number of options. You can change who will see your stories, including the option to send them to all of your contacts that use the app or just send them in a 1-1 conversation. Whatever works for you.

Signal also points out that you can manually hide stories from specific people, so don't worry about being faced with ones you don't want to deal with.

Writing by Oliver Haslam.
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