Facebook Messenger has a new service called ‘secret conversations’. This feature will give you an extra layer of security against third-party snoopers, looking to infiltrate your communication on the app.
Encrypted conversation is only privy to the intended receiver and the sender. Not even law enforcement authorities can have access to these types of messages. The move to encrypt messages has been sparked off by the allegation of the U.S. government spying on people. There have been cases of the authorities getting court orders requiring tech companies to reveal private information of suspect users.
This feature – secret conversations – will not be immediately available to everyone on Messenger. Instead, it will be rolled out in waves, with each waves comprising of a small number of beta users. After which, it will then be launched to the general public using Messenger; expected to happen sometime late this summer.
Unlike WhatsApp where encryption is available by default to all users, in Messenger, it will be an opt-in feature. Users will get to decide if or when they want to use encryption. You must activate encryption manually, to be able to enjoy the privacy and security accorded.
It is also said, the secret conversation will work on just one device. So you will have to make a choice on which one of your devices do you want Messenger chats encrypted. Additionally, the encryption will not be available to rich contents like GIFs, Videos, or Facebook Payment. Though, there are words of this changing in the future.
To give you an extra layer of privacy, Facebook is said to introduce self-destruct timer for specific messages. Meaning, you can decide how long particular messages will be available to the person you are chatting with on Messenger.
Other encrypted services
Other notable companies and services – other than WhatsApp and Viber – which have adapted service encryption include Apple with its iMessage and Google, which is said to be baking encryption on its new Allo app.