Facebook has finally rolled out end-to-end encryption for Messenger, which has more than 1 billion users. Now users can enable the new layer of secure communication by turning Secret Conversations on in any chat.
A Secret Conversation can be started in two ways. The first is to tap the new message icon and then tap on “Secret” on the upper right corner before choosing who to chat with. The other way is to open an already-existing chat, selecting the name of the recipient at the top and then tapping Secret Conversation in the Settings menu, reports IB Times.
End-to-end encryption assures users that their private chats are not read by anyone else and that only the sender and recipient of the messages can read them. Even Facebook will not have access to them, as messages will not be kept on its servers, the report says.
“Your messages are already secure, but Secret Conversations are encrypted from one device to another,” says the description in the app.
Another great feature is that users will be able to choose how long they want their message to be visible to the recipient when they are chatting in a Secret Conversation. For example, if a user sets a timer of five seconds, then the message will automatically disappear five seconds after the recipient has seen it. Users will be allowed to set the time limit from five seconds up to a full day, the report notes.
Secret Conversation is available to all Facebook Messenger users, but to be able to use it, they need to have the latest version of the app. An important thing to be kept in mind is that enabling a Secret Conversation means users won’t be able to send GIFs, videos or voice messages, and they won’t be able to initiate voice calling and mobile payments, explains TechRadar.
Encryption assures users that their messages are safe and that unwanted eyes are not able to gain access to them, be it criminals, companies or even intelligence agencies. For this reason, it has become a new trend among messaging services for the past year. WhatsApp, the biggest chatting app, made some of the biggest pushes for privacy this past spring by completely encrypting messages sent by its more than 1 billion users.
Also Google recently released the Allo app, a competitor to Facebook, offering an Incognito Mode to encrypt messages. Like Secret Conversations, it also needs to be turned on manually.