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.
“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.