In the US, there has been recent concern over ISPs turning over logs to the government. During the past few years, the idea of people snooping on our private data (by governments and others) really has made encryption more popular than ever before. One of the problems with encryption, however, is that it's generally not user-friendly to add its protection to your conversations. Thankfully, messaging services are starting to take notice of the demand. For me, I need a messaging service that works across multiple platforms, encrypts automatically, supports group messaging and ideally can handle audio/video as well. Thankfully, I found an incredible open-source package that ticks all my boxes: Wire.
There are some other great software packages for encrypting conversations. Programs like Signal do end-to-end encryption, but fall short when it comes to audio and video. Telegram is great for sending encrypted file transfers, but it doesn't handle direct communication. Thankfully, Wire not only encrypts text, video, audio and media, but it also does end-to-end encrypted group interactions. Plus, it has clients for just about any platform imaginable.
Users have a user name that is identified much like a Twitter handle. My account, for instance, is @shawnp0wers. And since Wire is open source, there aren't any targeted ads, popups or banners. It's just encrypted communication done in a convenient way. Check it out today at http://wire.com.