To start a Skype Private Conversation, users need to click the '+' icon.
Signal messages and calls are end-to-end encrypted and "painstakingly engineered to keep your communication safe", the company said. A new feature, Private Conversations, will soon be available with Signal's end-to-end encryption last seen on Secret Conversations on Facebook Messenger, Allo Incognito Chat on Google Allo, WhatsApp, and Signal's own messaging app. The select the contact to start a Private Conversation. A lack of features and security kept Skype back and ultimately allowed other apps to take that space back.
Skype already employs 256-bit AES encryption to protect data transferred between two clients, which is different from end-to-end encryption. "After the recipient accepts your invite, all calls and messages in that conversation will be encrypted end-to-end until you choose to end it", explained Ellen Kilbourne, manager of the Skype Insider Program. Seeing as it is in beta today, this may become a reality but Microsoft has yet to acknowledge if they will go down this path. Private Conversations will now be rolled out only to Skype Insiders on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Signal is an open source project now found in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Allo. In order to use the feature, a user has to select the "New Private Conversation" option from the compose menu or from the recipient's profile.
Microsoft also clarified that you can't edit a message or forward files within a Private Conversation. The researchers recommend that WhatsApp add an additional authentication mechanism for group chats, but in the meantime users may want to stick to one-on-one conversations when discussing sensitive information.
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.
The concern here for me is the fact that the feature is an opt-in one-you will have to enable it to have your conversation encrypted. Having to do this every time on Skype would be more of headache than feature.