Amazon reportedly discussed bidding for Signal, a well-known encrypted messaging app, before choosing Wickr instead. Wickr, also a private messaging app with end-to-end encryption, is mostly used by large enterprises and government offices.
The eCommerce giant has long been interested in incorporating a safer and more efficient encryption system for Amazon Web Services (AWS). On Friday, Amazon announced its deal with Wickr.
While the parties did not disclose the terms of the agreement, the acquisition sealed Amazon’s direction to ensure protected messaging within its stakeholders and customers. Stephen Schmidt, AWS’s chief information security officer, stressed the rapid speed and development when it comes to secure communications – an endeavor that Amazon intends to adopt and strengthen.
Schmidt also expressed Amazon’s plan to further protect communications, especially across remote locations. The COVID-19 pandemic was an eye-opener for the company to adapt evolutionary measures in keeping ahead of the hybrid work environments.
Furthermore, Amazon’s acquisition of Wickr signals the company’s goal to enter the industry of productivity-application services.
Right now, customers recognize AWS for its cloud-computing power and storage space. There has been an existing desire to get into business applications using specialized software as Google did. However, endeavors related to this plan have failed.
From Signal to Wickr
Amidst Amazon’s plan to improve the encryptions capabilities of AWS, Signal popped up. Acquiring an already established encrypted messaging app with a large user base like Signal seemed to be the best move that the company can make. The app is also popular among the company’s senior leaders considering they use it for private communications.
However, in the succeeding weeks, talks about buying Signal died down. After careful considerations, the company has seen little value customer proposition outside its large number of users. There were several issues on the inflated valuation, Signal’s legal structure, and the mismatched goals between the two companies.
Buying Wickr was more sensible
With Amazon realizing buying Signal was probably not the right idea, the discussion turned into considering purchasing Wickr instead. Wickr offers the same benefits that Signal has. On top of that, it has a significantly lower price than Signal. Likewise, Wickr has its own high-value intellectual property in vital aspects which primarily include encryption.
The mere fact that Wickr is already used by government agencies like the CIA is a clear advantage for Google. These agencies also utilize AWS cloud services and they have requested to enhance the platform’s end-to-end encryption. Amazon’s senior leaders and in-house analysts believe that Wickr will influence and speed up AWS public expansion.