Facebook is adding end-to-end encryption on Messenger. The company announced this in a blog post on Friday that it is rolling out the change alongside new controls for disappearing messages. This is adding another layer of privacy to its widely used communications platform.
End-to-end encryption is a security feature that prevents third-parties from eavesdropping on calls and chats. It is already widely used by apps like WhatsApp and other video calling apps like Zoom, Signal and Apple’s Facetime.
Facebook Messenger got end-to-end encryption for text messages in 2016, when Facebook added a “secret conversation” option to its app. Now this mode also supports calling.
According to the post, the content of your messages and calls in an end-to-end encrypted conversation is protected from the moment it leaves your device to the moment it reaches the receiver’s device. Even Facebook will not be able to see or listen to what is being sent or said.
Ruth Kricheli, director of product management for Messenger said, “It’s becoming the industry standard and works like a lock and key, where just you and the people in the chat or call have access to the conversation”.
Coming in the future, Facebook says that it will also soon begin testing end-to-end encryption for video and audio group chats in Facebook Messenger.
Beyond encryption, the social networking giant is updating the controls around its Disappearing messages feature, which is similar to the feature available on WhatsApp. You can now activate disappearing messages for everyone in a chat.
“We’ve also updated the expiring message feature within our end-to-end encrypted chats. People don’t always want nor need their messages to stick around and the timer controls lets someone decide when their message expires in the chat. We’ve updated this setting to provide more options for people in the chat to choose the amount of time before all new messages disappear, from as few as 5 seconds to as long as 24 hours”.