Following the footsteps of its big brother – WhatsApp – Facebook messenger has incorporated end-to-encryption to enhance the security of messages sent across using the platform.
Dubbed ‘Secret Conversations’ the new feature doesn’t get enabled by default unlike in WhatsApp and users have to manually enable it by navigating to settings and toggling the Secret Conversations option. End-to-end encryption on Facebook Messenger as a feature started rolling out in the form of an update in August this year and now the feature is available to all its 900 million users. It was first announced in July when Facebook revealed that it was testing out the feature at its test labs.
Users who have got the latest version of Facebook Messenger will see the ‘Secret’ option in the top right corner of the New Message screen. For the end-to-end encryption to work, which ensures no-one including Facebook can read your messages, both the sender and receiver need to be on the latest edition of the app. The update is available for both Android and iOS, however, the changelog on Google Play and the App Store does not detail the new feature.
Once they enable the option in a new message, the app will show users the following notification, “Your messages are already secure, but Secret Conversations are encrypted from one device to another.”
The end-to-end encryption is powered by the same encryption system used on the Edward Snowden-approved Signal app, developed by Open Whisper Systems.