An encrypted messaging app that has become wildly popular in Germany has just launched in the US.
Threema is one of Germany’s most popular paid apps with 3.5m monthly users, and has seen a massive 900% user increase in the past year.
The app was created in 2012 by Swiss company Threema GmBH, and following its success in German-speaking markets, the app is now set to be launched in the US.
Once the app is downloaded, each user creates their own eight character-long random Threema ID.
The app works by installing encryption keys onto smartphones, so users don’t have to provide any personal details, such as phone numbers or email address.
This apparently makes information about the user inaccessible to hackers, advertisers and the government.
Threema prides itself on its ability to ensure the security and privacy of its users, as its end-to-end encryption technology allows only the intended recipient to read the content of the messages sent to them.
In addition to this, all messages are deleted off Threema’s server immediately.
Users are able to send photos, videos, video messages, QR codes, group polls and can sync their own contacts to the app.
The app also has a feature where users can send their locations to one another.
Threema’s CEO Martin Blatter recently told Business Insider that following Facebook’s $19bn acquisition of Whatsapp, the app’s user base doubled in 24 hours, with Europeans worried about the security implications of the deal.
This came after high profile stories during the Edward Snowdon NSA leaks about the US government monitoring Angela Merkel’s phone.
Threema says it is impossible for their service operators to decrypt any messages sent through Threema, because they do not know the encryption keys the app uses.
This makes the app considerably more secure than apps like Whatsapp, although Whatsapp still remains the dominant force in the instant messaging world.
Earlier this year, Threema launched a new pre-paid product called Threema Gateway, which lets app developers integrate Threema’s messaging service into their app.
As part of its US launch, Threema is available to download at a one-off fee of $0.99 – a discounted price from its usual $1.99 – for a limited time.
Download the app here.