In an attempt to beef up users’ privacy, Facebook has has allowed some Messenger users to test a new feature called Secret Conversation which enables them to set countdown clock on a specific message prompting it to self-destruct.
If you’re in a test group, you can initiate a secret conversation by just tapping on a contact’s name and picking Secret Conversation mode. Once you turn on the mode, you will be able to chat via a secured channel equipped with end-to-end encryption.
Facebook announced that several beta testers will be able to test Messenger’s end-to-end encryption starting June 8. The company has been zooming in end-to-end encryption for its chat platform for several months now.
Only the sender and the recipient will be able to take a look at the secret conversations. This means that secret messages won’t be compatible with chatbots and payment methods as normal messages are in Messenger.
The company pledged that Secret Conversation will remain between the two parties, and not even Facebook employees will be able to take a peek.
Furthermore, the social media giant also found a way to ensure that secret conversations remain secure even in the case of theft. So, users have the option of setting an expiration date for the message. When the date is reached the message self destructs on both the sender’s and recipient’s devices.
You can take a look at the remaining time before the messages sinks into oblivion right next to the text field. There you can select how long you plan for the text message to last, which can range between five seconds to six hours.
The company announced that the new feature will be compatible only with iOS and Android for the moment. You won’t be able to access it from your browser or a desktop application. Facebook recently said that the end-to-end encryption was added to the app to convince users that Messenger is one of the most secure apps out there.
A spokesperson for the firm said that they planned to make Messenger everyone’s “primary messaging platform.” For this purpose, end-to-end encryption was not enough. The timer that prompts messages to self destruct will encourage users to have any type of conversations on Messenger, the company said.
However, end-to-end encryption in Facebook Messenger will come as an opt-in feature not a default one just like in the case of Google’s Allo, which has drawn criticism from cyber security experts.
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