Facebook is said to be testing end-to-end encryption in its Messenger application, and it will be making the feature available to users gradually. The option was released on Facebook’s WhatsApp in April, so it’s about time Messenger received the same functionality.
Facebook’s Messenger will get end-to-end encryption, but only a select group of users will receive the update, according to Wired. The new beta version will include a new feature named “secret conversations” with end-to-end encryption. It will start rolling out on Friday and will be made widely available by the end of summer or perhaps early fall.
Facebook has stated that the new feature will give users more privacy when discussing sensitive matters like financial information. The feature will also make it extremely difficult for anyone to access encrypted messages since not even Facebook will be able to view the shared information.
Secret conversations won’t support gifs, video or payments
End-to-end encryption is already available in multiple messaging applications, especially WhatsApp and Viber. What's more, even Google announced back in May that it would implement end-to-end encryption in its new messaging app Allo. Facebook has a larger user base compared to any other social network, so 900 million users will surely be glad to have the feature at hand.
Facebook’s encrypted conversations will use a protocol named Signal, the same as on WhatsApp and Allo. However, messages on Messenger won’t be encrypted by default, as users will be able to opt in for encryption, as compared to other services like WhatsApp. In addition, Facebook’s secret conversations will be set to work only from a single device, and users will have to pick which one.
The reason users will have to pick between their smartphones and tablets is linked to the fact that the encryption feature requires a unique secret key to be stored on the sender and recipient computer. The conversations won’t support gifs, videos or payments, but will allow users to set a self-destruct time limit for messages, just like on Snapchat.
In fact, a rumor on such a feature did surface a while ago, revealing that Facebook would imply some sort of encryption. It seems that the company has decided to go with the trend and help users engage in safe and secure conversations in its Messaging application