The key difference between the new feature and its typical chats is that users must specifically accept invitations to private conversations. The new feature, announced via a blog post, is called Private Conversations, and is available for Skype Insiders now.Skype was already using 256-bit AES encryption, as reported by Mary Jo Foley on our sister site ZDNet.
If you do start a Private Conversation, the contents of those chats will be hidden from the chat list and notifications will be turned off as well.
Microsoft is partnering with encrypted communications app Signal on a new end-to-end encrypted messaging feature called Private Conversations. Private Conversations will now be rolled out only to Skype Insiders on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Some of the most popular and widely used messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have adopted end-to-end encryption over the past few years. You will have to take extra steps to ensure you're in a private conversation, however. Select Private Conversation from the options and choose the contact that you wish to start encrypted chats with. You can not pick up a Private Conversation from a different device; you will have to repeat the process from the very beginning. However, the end-to-end goes a step further than this by encrypting stored messages as well.More news: Olympics: Canada sends out National Hockey League castaways to chase gold hat-trick
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Separately, there was a flap earlier this week about hackers and spies being able to slip into Signal-protected WhatsApp group chats by compromising WhatsApp servers. A lock icon will appear next to a contact's name to show that a conversation is encrypted.
Private conversations should roll out to non-Insiders in the coming weeks, though it's not clear yet when it will be available in the Skype UWP app.
Private Conversations are specific to a device.
Skype is rolling out a new feature soon.