Facebook Messenger updates end-to-end encrypted chats with new features

San Francisco: Facebook has announced that it is rolling out the option to make voice and video calls end-to-end encrypted on Messenger, along with updated controls for disappearing messages.

“People expect their messaging apps to be secure and private, and with these new features we’re giving them more control over how private they want their calls and chats to be,” said Ruth Kricheli, Director of Product Management, Messenger, in a blogpost.

The company said since 2016, they have offered the option to secure one-on-one text chats with end-to-end encryption. In the past year, it saw a surge in the use of audio and video calling with more than 150 million video calls a day on the 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,” Kricheli said.

End-to-end encryption is already widely used by apps like WhatsApp to keep personal conversations safe from hackers and criminals.

“The content of your messages and calls in an end-to-end encrypted conversation is protected from the moment it leaves your device to the moment it reaches the receiver’s device,” the company said.

“This means that nobody else, including Facebook, can see or listen to what is sent or said. Keep in mind, you can report an end-to-end encrypted message to us if something’s wrong,” it added.

The company said it has also updated the expiring message feature within end-to-end encrypted chats.

In the coming weeks, some people may get access to more test features within these fully encrypted chats that give people greater privacy and security in their conversations.

“We’ll begin testing end-to-end encryption for group chats, including voice and video calls, for friends and family that already have an existing chat thread or are already connected,” the company added.

“We’ll also begin a test for your delivery controls to work with your end-to-end encrypted chats. That way you can prevent unwanted interactions by deciding who can reach your chats list, who goes to your requests’ folder, and who can’t message you at all,” it added.

The company said it will also kick off a limited test with adults in certain countries that lets them opt-in for end-to-end encrypted messages and calls for one-on-one conversations on Instagram.


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