Facebook started testing end-to-end encryption for Messenger app back in July. Now, the feature has been rolled out for all Facebook Messenger users globally. “That means the messages are intended just for you and the other person — not anyone else, including us,” Facebook said in a post.
However, unlike WhatsApp, the Secret Conversation feature in Messenger is optional. This means you can choose to switch the feature on for individual conversations. Interestingly, users can even choose the duration for which they want their secret message to appear on their friend’s device. Facebook says their technology uses the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems. The options timer options range from 5 seconds to up to 1 day and the encrypted messages disappear after that. Plus, the secret messages can only be read on one device.
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Starting a Secret Conversation in Messenger is simple. First choose the contact you want to start secret conversation with. Next, tap on the ‘i’ icon on the top right. Click on ‘Secret Conversations’ and choose ‘turn on’. Facebook Messenger for iOS has an even simpler option, which allows users to simply click on new message, choose contact and tap ‘Secret’ on the top right.
Facebook Messenger Secret Conversations do not support GIFs or videos or making payments as of now; and can only be used to send pictures, messages and stickers.
Facebook first launched end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp. This ensures that users’ messages, videos, photos sent over WhatsApp can’t be read by anyone else — not WhatsApp, not cyber-criminals, not law-enforcement agencies. Even calls and group chats is encrypted.