In October last year, Microsoft announced that Skype for Android has hit one billion download mark on Google Play Store. Now, with over 300 million monthly users, Microsoft has announced that Skype will offer end-to-end encryption through a feature called Private Conversations. Microsoft has released this feature in the preview for Skype Insiders only. It may be a while before this feature is released to all users.
Skype preview’s end-to-end encrypted protocol is similar to what is already used by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Google Allo. Skype Private Conversations will support text, audio calls, and file transfers, with end-to-end encryption. However, the video calls and group chats will remain unencrypted.
Skype users can start a Private Conversation by tapping on the “+” icon followed by New Private Conversation. An invite will be sent to the contact that the user wants to have a Private Conversation with.
Once the invitation is sent it needs to be accepted within seven days or it will expire. Additionally, if a Private Conversation was started on one device and now the user wants it to move over to other devices, they will need to resend the invitation to the contact using that other device.
Skype is said to use open-source Signal Protocol to implement the encryption, which is set up so that only the devices sending and receiving communications in a conversation can hear or view the message. Not even the servers they pass through can see the encrypted messages.
Further, the company also notifies that if you’ve been using your Facebook credentials to log-in your Skype account then you will need to update it too as that mode of connection has been shut down.