In order to extend better support for sensitive conversations between users, Facebook has made its Messenger more secure by adding the “Secret Conversations” feature. In a blog post published on Friday, Facebook states that it will be useful in case such as when user wants to discuss private information like health issues with trusted friends and family, or sending financial information to an accountant.
The Secret Conversations on Messenger uses end-to-end encryption, which means that the messages sent can only be read on one device of the person he/she is communicating with. The users can also set a timer to control the length of time each message remain visible within the conversation. To make this encryption possible, Facebook uses a signal protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.
Since the readability of the secret messages sent remain limited to two devices (of sender and receiver), Secret Conversations is given as an optional choice and may not be feasible for people who switch using Messenger from one device to another, such as a tablet, computer, desktop, etc. Also, the secret conversations do not support rich content like GIFs and videos, making payments, or other popular Facebook Messenger features.
The social media giant has currently released the test version of Secret Conversations. Based on the feedback received from the test version, the final version will be revised further. Facebook said that it will also include a button to report objectionable content. The final version will be widely available this summer, said the blog post.
End-to-end encryption has seen a popularity in the recent years due to the increasing cyber threats. Many tech companies are incorporating end-to-end encryption into their products.