Facebook is rolling out optional end-to-end encryption for video and voice calls on Messenger, along with updates controls for disappearing messages. The new features are coming to address users’ expectations and needs for security and privacy, allowing users to be more in control over their chats and call.
Messenger’s End-to-End Encryption for Voice and Video Calls
End-to-end encryption was introduced to Facebook in 2016, when the company included it in one-on-one text chats. Since then, however, Facebook has observed “a surge in the use of audio and video calling with more than 150 million video calls a day on Messenger.”
“Now we’re introducing calling to this chat mode so you can secure your audio and video calls with this same technology, if you choose,” the social network giant said in the official announcement.
This type of encryption is already adopted by plenty of other apps, such as WhatsApp, to provide safety against hacking. It is indeed the industry standard providing protection similar to how a lock and a key work. This way, only you and people in the chat or call have access to the conversation. Thanks to the end-to-end encryption, the content of the messages and calls are protected from the moment it leaves the device to the moment it reaches the other device. In other words, nobody else, Facebook included, cannot see or listen what’s been said or sent. However, note that content encrypted this way can still be reported if something is wrong.
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Disappearing Messages Also Updated
Disappearing Messages have been updated with new controls. Facebook has also altered the expiring message feature within the end-to-end encrypted chats.
“People don’t always want or need their messages to stick around and the timer controls let someone decide when their messages expire 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,” the company added.
Other Updates Pending
In the weeks to come, some people may get access to more test features within fully encrypted chats. These features are meant to give users even more privacy and security in their conversations. Soon, full encryption should also be added to groups chats and calls, too.
Lastly, the company is planning to add opt-in end-to-end encryption for Instagram DMs.
“Similar to how Messenger works today, you need to have an existing chat or be following each other to start an end-to-end encrypted DM. As always, you can block someone you don’t want to talk to or report something to us if it doesn’t seem right,” Facebook concluded.