In case you haven’t noticed, encryption has been getting some press lately. This means messaging apps that prioritize true privacy have a big opportunity to set themselves apart from the pack. Wire, backed by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, is latest such app to enter the encryption game.
While Wire, which launched in December 2014 and is based in Switzerland, has always encrypted voice calls, on Thursday it announced that it rolled out end-to-end encryption for all “conversation content,” which includes text messages, video calls, photos and sketches. “Wire doesn’t hold the decryption keys and our software contains no backdoor. Your data is your data — Wire has no access to it,” the company says on its Privacy page in language that’s sure to resonate with those paying attention to the tension between the FBI and Apple.
Along with end-to-end encryption for all conversation content shared on its messaging platform, Wire announced video calling for its iOS, Android, Mac and Windows apps.
These two features appear to push the relatively small Wire — the startup has about 50 employees — closer to the rest of the messaging app pack. While the company doesn’t share monthly user figures, Friis told Bloomberg Businessthat it receives about 150,000 to 200,000 new user sign-ups per month.
Wire is far from the first messaging app to tout its encryption features, though it claims that its approach is the most comprehensive. Popular messaging app Line, for example, rolled out an end-to-end encryption feature called “Letter Sealing” in October. ISIS reportedly uses Telegram, which offers a questionable level of encryption. Meanwhile, Edward Snowden favors an encrypted messaging app called Signal.