Facebook Messenger is looking for every means to be in your life. With every tech savvy person always worried about their online privacy yet staying offline is not just an option, security features have become a top concern for major platforms.
Messenger has more than 900 million people using it on a monthly basis. With the company looking to add even more users and become the go-to chat app, it is reportedly working on one feature that will make any attempt by prying eyes to steal personal information from the app futile.
In an announcement made on Friday, the social networking giant revealed that it has built a feature inside of Facebook Messenger known as secret messages or simply messages that are protected with end-to-end encryption. In Messenger’s case, all messages that are sent via this channel will be stored on only two devices – the sender’s and recipient’s. Just like WhatsApp did, it means that the company itself cannot come between conversations of two parties on the app.
It gets even better with the works Facebook as on Messenger. The tech giant is also adding a self-destruct timer to these secret messages. As a result, users will have a chance to set a period of time that the messages will take before disappearing automatically. Users will be able to choose from any time between 5 seconds to 24 hours.
Another popular chat app that also launched end-to-end encryption in the recent past is Viber. The technology helps keep out the likes of FBI, who always want to have back-door access to information and conversations that are held by individuals on these chat apps. As a way of ensuring that this doesn’t happen and user privacy is attained, Facebook Messenger has resolved to end-to-end encryption that not only blocks third parties, but also in-house engineers from accessing conversations on the app.
According to Facebook, the secret messages feature in Messenger is switched off by default, meaning it has to be enabled for it to work. As noted earlier, end-to-end encryption means that messages are only stored on two devices – the one used for sending and the one receiving the message. Since Facebook Messenger is a cross-platform app, it means messages that are sent inside the secret chat feature will not be visible on another device. In short, if you begin a secret chat on your phone, carrying over the conversation to another device will not bring with it the secret messages.
Initially, a small test group of Facebook Messenger will be able to access the secret messages feature, but the feature will fully be available to all Android and iOS users by the end of this summer, a company spokesperson noted.