Viber follows in WhatsApp’s Footsteps, Introduces End-to-end Encryption

WhatsApp caused quite a stir in the messaging app industry when it announced that all chats would have end-to-end encryption. Besides putting governments on the guard and making some consumers wonder what the move means for them, the global messaging app has also caused many competitors to follow suit. Case in point: Viber. The messaging app, which boasts a user base of over 711 mn, also announced this week that all calls and messages on its platform would be encrypted end-to-end.

The wave of privacy features is expanding across the messaging apps ecosystem and no company now wants its consumers to think that it’s offering communications that are less private than the others.

The company, which has its roots in Israel, was acquired by Japanese company, Rakuten, in 2014. Viber said that its end-to-end encryption feature would be applicable to private chats, group chats, and calls. Going a step further, the company also added a feature that would allow users to ‘hide’ chats on their account.
  • These new services, the company has said, will be rolled out in the coming week. The rollout, which started on Tuesday, will happen across the world.
  • Initially, the new features will be available in four locations where the company’s R&D efforts are largely centered. These four locations are: Belarus, Thailand, Brazil, and Israel.
  • Viber’s new privacy features will be available across all Mac desktops, Android, PCs, and iOS provided the latest update of the app (6.0) has been installed. However, for the feature to be turned on, users will have to undergo a separate re-authentication process via a QR code.
  • All end-to-end encryption will feature varying levels of security, displayed through a color-coded lock, the company said.

Speaking of the reason behind introducing end-to-end encryption on its chats, the company’s COO, Michael Shmilov, told members of the press. With Viber introducing the feature just a few days after WhatsApp announced the same, the degree of competition that currently prevails in the private messenger apps landscape has become evident.


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