Wire Swiss

Wire Swiss GmbH
Industry Communication software
Founded Fall 2012
Founders Jonathan Christensen, Priidu Zilmer, Alan Duric
Headquarters Zug, Switzerland[1]
Services encrypted communication software
Number of employees
Website wire.com

Wire Swiss GmbH is a software company headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.[1] Its development center is in Berlin, Germany.[3] The company is best known for its messaging application called Wire.

The Wire app allows users to exchange end-to-end encrypted instant messages, as well as make end-to-end encrypted voice and video calls.[1] The software is available for the iOS, Android, OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems[4] and WebRTC-compatible web browsers.[5]


Wire Swiss GmbH was founded in Fall 2012 by Jonathan Christensen (CEO), Alan Duric (CTO) and Priidu Zilmer (head of design), who previously worked at Skype and Microsoft.[6] Jonathan Christensen previously co-founded Camino Networks in 2005 with Alan Duric, who also co-founded Telio.[7] Camino networks was later acquired by Skype, a division of Microsoft Corporation. At Skype, Jonathan was responsible for getting Skype into new platforms such as Internet televisions and set-top boxes[8] while Priidu Zilmer, former head of design at Vdio, lead the Skype design team.[9]

The company launched the Wire app on December 3, 2014. Shortly after its launch, the company retracted a claim from their website that the app's messages and conversation history could only be read by the conversation participants.[10][11] In August 2015, the company added end-to-end encrypted group calling to their app.[12] From its launch until March 2016, Wire's messages were only encrypted between the client and the company's server. In March 2016, the company added end-to-end encryption for its messaging traffic, as well as an end-to-end encrypted video calling feature.[1][2] Wire Swiss GmbH released the source code of the Wire client applications under the GPLv3 license in July 2016.[13][14] The company also published a number of restrictions that apply to users who have compiled their own applications. Among other things, they may not change the way the applications connect and interact with the company's centralized servers.[15][16]


Developer(s) Wire Swiss GmbH
Initial release 3 December 2014 (2014-12-03)
Development status Active
Operating system iOS, Android, OS X, Windows
  • OS X 10.9 or later
  • Windows 7, 8/8.1 or 10[17]
  • Linux[18]
  • iOS 8.0 or later
  • Android 4.2 or later
  • Wire for Web: Internet Explorer 11 or later, Firefox 31 or later, Chrome 26 or later, Safari 7 or later, Opera 27 or later
Type encrypted communication software
Website wire.com


Wire allows users to exchange text, voice, photo, video and music messages.[20] The application also supports group messaging.

The app allows group calling with up to five participants.[12] A stereo feature places participants in "virtual space" so that users can differentiate voice directionality.[12] The application adapts to varying network conditions.

The application supports the exchange of animated GIFs up to 5MB through a media integration with a company called Giphy.[21] The iOS and Android versions also include a sketch feature that allows users to draw a sketch into a conversation or over a photo.[22] YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify and Vimeo integrations allow users to share music and videos within chats.[6]

Wire is available on mobile and web. The web service is called Wire for Web.[6] Wire activity is synced on iOS, Android and web apps.[9] The desktop version supports screen sharing.[23]

Wire also includes a function for ephemeral messaging in 1:1 conversations.[24][25]


Wire uses end-to-end encryption for voice and video calls, as well as instant messages. Wire's voice calls are encrypted with DTLS and SRTP,[12][26] its video calls with RTP,[1] and its instant messages with Proteus, a protocol that Wire Swiss developed based on the Signal Protocol.[26][27] In addition to this, client-server communication is protected by Transport Layer Security.[3]

Business model

Wire Swiss GmbH receives financial backing from a firm called Iconical.[2] According to an article published by Reuters, Wire Swiss has not disclosed how much funding it has received and has yet to discover a sustainable business model.[2] In March 2016, Wire Executive Chairman Janus Friis told Bloomberg that the company will "never create an advertising-based business model", but "might charge for certain premium services in the future".[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kahn, Jeremy (10 March 2016). "Amid Apple's FBI fight, app developers are ramping up encryption". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Auchard, Eric (11 March 2016). "Skype co-founder launches ultra-private messaging, with video". Thomson Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  3. 1 2 Dredge, Stuart. "Skype co-founder backs Wire - to take on Skype". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  4. "Ex-Skypers Launch 'Wire' Chat App". PCMag. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  5. https://techcrunch.com/2015/04/29/wire-the-communications-app-backed-by-skypes-co-founder-arrives-on-the-web/
  6. 1 2 3 Perez, Sarah. "Skype Co-Founder Backs Wire, A New Communications App Launching Today On iOS, Android And Mac". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  7. "Initial Thoughts On "Wire", The New Communication App From Ex-Skypers". DisruptiveTelephony.com. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  8. "A veteran & key Skype executive leaves. Quietly!". GigaOm. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  9. 1 2 Sawers, Paul (2 December 2014). "Wire wants to be Skype for the modern age, launches with the backing of Skype co-founder Janus Friis". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  10. "New communications app Wire tones down encryption claims". PCWorld. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  11. Cox, Joseph (4 December 2014). "App Built by Former Skype Employees Retracts Promise Not to Read Your Messages". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  12. 1 2 3 4 Pierce, David (12 August 2015). "Messaging App Declares War on Crappy Conference Calls". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  13. Meyer, David (22 July 2016). "Wire Wants to Bring Encrypted Chat to Cars and the Internet of Things". Fortune. Time Inc. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  14. 1 2 "Wire Swiss GmbH". GitHub. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  15. Menge-Sonnentag, Rainald (27 July 2016). "Wire-Messenger ist jetzt vollständig Open Source". Heise.de (in German). Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  16. "Wire iOS client". GitHub. Wire Swiss GmbH. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  17. "Former Skype team members returning to Windows with Wire for Windows". Supersite for Windows. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  18. Sneddon, Joey-Elijah (11 October 2016). "Wire, the Encrypted Chat App, Is Now Available for Linux". OMG! Ubuntu! (Blog). Ohso Ltd. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  19. "License Information". Wire Swiss GmbH. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  20. "Meet Wire, A Communications App Backed By Skype Co-founder Janus Friis". Fast Company. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  21. "Wire and Giphy Make Communication Fun". AppMess. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  22. "Communicating "I Love You" in the Emoji Era". PSFK. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  23. Lopez, Napier (30 July 2016). "Open-source Wire messenger gets encrypted screen-sharing". The Next Web. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  24. "Safe and tidy with Timed Messages". Wire Swiss. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  25. Mott, Nathaniel (25 October 2016). "Encrypted Messaging Apps Wire And Signal Turn To Ephemeral Messages". Tom's Hardware. Purch Group Inc. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  26. 1 2 "Wire Security Whitepaper". Wire Swiss GmbH. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  27. "Add attribution". GitHub. Wire Swiss GmbH. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
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