What are the cool kids using for private photo/video chat these days?
August 24, 2018 6:58 AM   Subscribe

Couple spending time in different continents looking for a good way of chatting and exchanging private photos and video.

Our concerns are privacy/security and not inadvertently sharing our private stuff with some corporate behemoth or having it float around in the cloud until the heat death of the universe. Ease of use is a plus, but we can deal with something a little clunkier if it does the Right Thing.

Both parties are on Android phones - free is good but paid is not out of the question.
posted by anonymous to Technology (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
WhatsApp uses end to end encryption so the only people with access are the sender and recipient of each message / media
posted by JonB at 7:07 AM on August 24, 2018

WhatsApp encryption is solid and it's easy to use.

Signal uses the same encryption (they invented it, actually, and shared it with WhatsApp) and is a better option if you're super paranoid. It may be blocked if you are in a non-democratic country.

There are lots of messaging apps that are branded "secure" but I'd be very skeptical of anything other than these two. Many others may not be secure at all, or make it too easy to accidentally turn off encryption.
posted by vogon_poet at 7:29 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Telegram is another secure messaging app option.
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio at 8:02 AM on August 24, 2018

Also Wickr, though the security nerds don't like it because it's not entirely open source. If you guys trust each other and you're not worried about the government trying to get your messages, any of these is probably find for you. Apparently Wickr just introduced some VPN functionality to get around various blocks, so if that's likely to be a problem in either country, it might be a better option for you guys.

I've used Wickr in the past, and it was reasonably useable, until you forgot your password. It's completely anonymous, so there's no password retrieval option -- you just had to start over again. I like it because, at the time, it had the best self-destruct mechanism, and you couldn't screenshot on Android.
posted by natabat at 8:23 AM on August 24, 2018

Definitely Signal. It's also just a nice messaging app in general.
posted by so fucking future at 8:27 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Whether you trust the companies or not, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger both promise that they'll protect your messages and not let them get out. Facebook messenger also has end-to-end encryption.
posted by bbqturtle at 9:22 AM on August 24, 2018

Be careful with Facebook messenger - it only has end to end encryption if you use the secret message function - by default Facebook servers can see the content of your messages (although they will be encrypted in transit and probably at rest just with Facebook having access to the keys).
posted by JonB at 10:11 AM on August 24, 2018

WhatsApp or Signal.
and the important thing is you have to use that platform to only communicate with each other. So you only have one person on the contact list. That way you won't accidently send chats to a wrong person.
posted by WizKid at 10:53 AM on August 24, 2018

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