Threema, an encrypted messaging service that offers a substantial number of features, has announced a big business change that may increase some otherwise skeptical users’ trust in the platform. In its announcement, the Threema team said its messaging apps will soon be made fully open source, making it easier to independently review the apps’ security and verify their code.
While there’s no lack of ‘secure’ messaging apps on the market, some of them are more private than others. There are messaging services where the messages reside on the company’s servers, then there are encrypted messaging services where the company isn’t able to access the user’s data. Threema falls into the latter category.
Unlike apps like Telegram, which is more targeted at the average consumer, Threema is a higher-end product that includes a variety of features, including support for voice and text messages, groups, distribution lists, and sending files like MP3s and PDFs. As well, users can share locations and images/videos.
When compared alongside the more popular encrypted messaging app Signal, there was both an upside and a downside. The upside? Threema assigns the user a unique ID, eliminating the need to use a phone number. The downside? Threema wasn’t open-source, unlike Signal, something that was a concern for some potential users.
In its update on Thursday, Threema announced that it has partnered with Afinum Management AG and that it is making its apps open source. This open-source change only applies to the apps, not the backend, but Threema notes that it has and will continue to conduct regular external reviews. Likewise, Threema says its users will soon be able to use multiple devices in parallel without compromising their data.