General


Basics


Privacy & Security


Troubleshooting


General



“What’s SOMA Messenger?”



SOMA Messenger is a FREE high-quality video, voice and messaging app made for global communication. With record breaking downloads of 10 million new users in its first 30 days, this highly secure service offers unlimited voice and video calls with no buffering. It is also a completely free mobile messaging app that allows group chats of up to 500 people.

SOMA stands for Simple Optimized Messaging App and was crafted in the heart of SOMA (South of Market) district of San Francisco, California.



“Who is SOMA Messenger for?”



SOMA Messenger is for people who care about quality and want the most secure way to connect.



“What makes SOMA Messenger different from other messaging apps?”



- FREE high-quality video and voice calls

SOMA Messenger is a FREE high-quality video, voice and messaging app made for global communication.

-Fastest, most secure and satisfying user experience

With our servers strategically placed in a number of locations across the globe, SOMA Messenger is faster than any other messaging app. You only need 3G to make a group video or voice calls.

SOMA Messenger is the most secure messaging app, providing end-to-end encryption (E2EE) by default for private communication.

- Group chats with up to 500 people

SOMA Messenger also offers the ability to have up to 500 people in a single group chat, more than any other service. This feature is perfect for businesses, government organizations, students, sports teams and fans, and community groups. SOMA Messenger offers the largest group chat currently available.

- Simplicity

So easy your grandma can use it. All the essential communication features at your fingertips.



“Who made SOMA Messenger?”



SOMA Messenger is the latest communication service to come out of Instanza. The company was founded at Harvard University in 2011 to address the challenge of communicating across time zones. It was one of the first startups incubated in the Harvard Innovation Lab.



“Where is SOMA Messenger headquartered?”



The company moved from Cambridge, Massachusetts to San Francisco, California in 2013.

It is headquartered in SoMa (South of Market), San Francisco, with offices around the world.



“Will I get charged for anything? If not, how do you make a profit?”



Unlimited usage of the app will be forever free. Our first priority is to create an unparalleled user experience that is secure, safe and private.



“What is the mission behind SOMA Messenger?”



SOMA Messenger wants to be the best messaging service possible. We want to raise the standards of quality and privacy for video, voice and messaging while keeping it free. As people begin to use messaging services from all corners of the world, they are stuck with and have come to accept the slow, low quality services, as well as the low pricing that is creeping into the industry. SOMA Messenger wants to change all that.

All the best things in life are free: love, kisses, memories, etc. We strive to make communication free and to bring people closer together.

Basics



“Who can I message on SOMA Messenger?”



You can message anyone you have saved in your contact book on your phone who has registered a SOMA Messenger account. All of your phone contacts will be displayed in “Contacts” and all of your phone contacts that are registered on SOMA Messenger will be displayed in “Favorites”.

For contacts who have not registered SOMA Messenger, you can send them an SMS invitation through your carrier plan to invite them to join.

For iOS users, be sure to allow access to contacts in settings. Otherwise, your contact list won’t be displayed in SOMA Messenger, and you won’t be able to message anyone.



“How to invite a friend?”



You can invite your contacts by sending them an SMS invitation or an email invitation through SOMA Messenger.

Android users:

A. To send an SMS invitation, you can invite your contacts by tapping the “Tell friends about SOMA” button found in “Favorites” and “Contacts.” Select the channel you want to send the invite through (either SMS or email), and you will be automatically directed to the default system messaging or email application.

B. Another way to send an SMS invite is by tapping on an unregistered contact profile in “Contacts.” Tapping on an unregistered contact will direct you to their contact information page. If you tap on the message icon, you will be directed to the default system messaging application. You can send them an SMS invitation from there.

iOS users:

A. To send an SMS invitation, you can invite your contacts by tapping the “Tell a Friend” button found in “Favorites” and “Contacts.” Select the channel you want to send the invite through and you will be automatically directed to the default system messaging application.

B. Another way to send an SMS invite is by tapping on a unregistered contact profile in “Contacts.” Tapping on an unregistered contact will direct you to their contact information page. If you tap on the message icon, you will be directed to the default system messaging application. You can send them an SMS invitation from there.



“How to add a contact?”



Android users:

You can add a contact to SOMA Messenger through two methods:

A. Adding a contact to your phone contact book: When you add a contact to your phone contact book, the new contact will automatically sync with SOMA Messenger, and you can message them once you enter the app.

B. Adding a contact within SOMA Messenger: Tap on the “Add a contact” button on the top right corner in “Contacts” when you are in SOMA Messenger, and you can save a new contact to both your phone contact book and to the contacts list in SOMA Messenger.

iOS users:

You can add a contact to SOMA Messenger through two methods:

A. Adding a contact to your phone contact book: When you add a contact to your phone contact book, the new contact will automatically sync with SOMA Messenger, and you can message them once you enter the app.

B. Adding a contact within SOMA Messenger: Tap on the “+” button on the top right corner in “Contacts” when you are in SOMA Messenger, and you can save a new contact to both your phone contact book and to the contacts list in SOMA Messenger.

Make sure you enable access to contacts in settings, otherwise your contact list will not be displayed in SOMA Messenger and you will not be able to message anyone.



“Back-up”



We are currently testing the beta version for this feature. The feature will be released in the near future.



“Changing your phone number”



We are currently testing the beta version for this feature. The feature will be released in the near future.



“Broadcast”



We are currently testing the beta version for this feature. The feature will be released in the near future.

Privacy & Security



“How secure is SOMA Messenger?”



SOMA Messenger uses industry-leading technology, backed by exhaustive testing, to protect users’ privacy. For more technical detail, download our encryption whitepaper.



“Why should I trust you with my data?”



SOMA Messenger has strict security and privacy policies that apply to all messages, including voice and video calls, texts, images, or voice messages, everywhere in the world.

All messages, no matter where they come from or where they are sent, are permanently deleted immediately after delivery. Undelivered messages expire and are permanently deleted after seven days. Messages are never stored on our servers or in any cloud after they are deleted, and phone numbers stored in users’ address books cannot be seen by SOMA Messenger.



“How do you encrypt data?”



When a user starts a new message, the sending device generates a random 256-bit key and encrypts the message with it using AES in CBC mode. The dynamically generated public RSA 2048-bit encryption keys are then retrieved from the server to encrypt this per-message AES key. The retrieve public keys will be further verified on the sending device to prevent man-in-the-middle attack. The combination of the encrypted message and the encrypted message key is then hashed with SHA-1 to ensure the integrity of the message body. The encrypted messages are then dispatched to the push notification servers for delivery. Communication with push notification servers is encrypted using a forward-secret TLS channel.

All messages are deleted from the server after delivery. Undelivered messages will expire in 7 days and then deleted from the server. We will keep improving our encryption algorithms. If you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to drop us an email at contact@instanza.com



“Where is my chat history stored?”



Your chat history and message content is stored ONLY on your device.

All messages, no matter where they come from or where they are sent, are permanently deleted immediately after delivery, and undelivered messages expire and are permanently deleted after seven days. Importantly, messages are never stored on our servers or in any cloud after they are deleted.



“How to hide “last seen?””



“Last seen” is a timestamp that tells others the last time you were in SOMA. You can view someone’s “last seen” in “Favorites” and in the message page. If you don’t want others to see your “last seen” status in SOMA Messenger, you can disable the function in Settings > Account > Privacy. There are three options that you can choose from:

  • 1. Everyone: Everyone is able to see your “last seen.”

  • 2. My contacts: Only contacts you have saved in SOMA Messenger can see your “last seen.” If you don’t have someone in your contact list, they will not be able to see your “last seen.”

  • 3. Nobody: Nobody can see your “last seen.”



Keep in mind if you don’t share your “last seen,” you won’t be able to see anyone else’s “last seen” either.



“How to hide “read status?””



“Read status” is a function that allows you to see when a message you have sent to someone else has been read by the other person. If you don’t want others to know when you have read their message, you can disable the function in Settings > Account > Privacy.

Once you turn off your “read status,” others won’t be able to see if you have read their messages. Similarly, you will not be able to see whether your contacts have read your sent messages.



“Why do you require permissions to access features on my Apple or Android device? How do permissions requested by SOMA Messenger compare to similar messaging services?”



The only permissions SOMA Messenger requests are the ones that are absolutely necessary to use all of its great features. Our messenger uses those permissions only to do the things you want it to - like send photos, voice messages, video chat, and share location. In fact, our Android app requests fewer permissions than similar messaging services.

Rest assured, SOMA Messenger will never take a photo or video, nor share your location without your confirmation. We have no interest in taking your picture, but the app has to access the camera when you start a video chat. We also don’t care where you are, but the app needs to access your phone’s location if you choose to share it with a friend. That’s it. Your privacy and security are important to us, and we want you to feel confident that you can use the application freely.

Troubleshooting



“I didn’t receive my verification code”



If you didn’t receive your verification code, you can request for another verification code. In some countries with unstable cellular networks, it might take several tries before you receive the code (this doesn’t happen often). Our support team will be monitoring verification code deliveries and routing around the clock. Once we identify an unstable network, we will provide you with alternative delivery routes if we see that the current route in a given country is not functioning properly.



“How to delete my account? ”



You can delete your account by going to Settings > Account > Delete My Account. To delete your account, you will need to enter your:

  • 1. Country code

  • 2. Phone number that you registered your SOMA Messenger account with (needs to be an exact match or you won’t be able to delete your account)



Keep in mind that once you delete your account, your account information including your message history will be deleted and cannot be retrieved. You can re-register a new SOMA account at a later time if you wish to use the same number, but information from the previous account will not be recovered.



“Why can’t I use voice call/video call in SOMA? ”



SOMA Messenger provides messaging services to users around the globe. In order to comply with certain countries’ unique rules and regulations, not every SOMA Messenger capability is currently available in every country. We are currently working with regulators and telecom companies in an effort to bring the full capabilities of our app to users no matter where they are in the world.

When other users place a voice call or video call through SOMA Messenger to the restricted users, a notification should appear that reads:

\"The person you are trying to call has not activated their voice call service.\"
\"The person you are trying to call has not activated their video call service.\"