According to a blog post, the encryption feature is available in the most recent build of the Android app and currently only supports one-on-one text messaging. Support for group chat and messages with media will be added in the future, Open Whisper Systems said.
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“WhatsApp runs on an incredible number of mobile platforms, so full deployment will be an incremental process as we add TextSecure protocol support into each WhatsApp client platform. We have a ways to go until all mobile platforms are fully supported, but we are moving quickly towards a world where all WhatsApp users will get end-to-end encryption by default,” the company said.
The introduction of the feature follows a recent rise in popularity for encryption and anonymity services, which was primarily sparked by the spotlight Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA snooping shone on the sector.