WhatsApp adds encrypted video calls as services race towards privacy offerings

News by Jeremy Seth Davis

WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum said the messaging service will add encrypted video calling on Monday, according to a report.

WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum said the messaging service will add encrypted video calling on Monday, according to a Reuters report.

“We're obsessed with making sure that voice and video work well even on low-end phones,” Koum told the news service. The Facebook-owned messaging service completed integration of end-to-end encryption for chat messages and audio calls earlier this year.

WhatsApp competitors include the video and messaging services Skype and FaceTime. Privacy advocates have criticised Skype for its lack of full encryption. The service offers partial encryption, although it does not provide ‘end-to-end' encryption. Apple's FaceTime service offers end-to-end encryption, but is only available for Apple OS devices.

WhatsApp's latest offering comes months after Google launched Duo, a video-calling app that provides end-to-end encrypted communication, in August.

Meanwhile, demand for the encrypted email service ProtonMail have skyrocketed as email users express concerns over the potential of additional government surveillance under a Trump administration.

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