Facebook has launched one-on-one encrypted conversations for its iOS and Android Messenger app.
The new feature, appropriately named Secret Conversations, permits Messenger users to send end-to-end encrypted messages to their contacts. And the messages can only be read on one device belonging to the recipient. Both users must have the latest version of Messenger for Secret Conversations to work, however.
“That means the messages are intended just for you and the other person — not anyone else, including us,” Facebook said in a blog post. “Within a secret conversation, you can also choose to set a timer to control the length of time each message you send remains visible within the conversation. Our technology uses the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.”
Secret Conversations is not set by default because, as Facebook points out, the “experience may not be right for everyone,” so users must manually enable encryption each time they wish to use it. Users can also opt to have a particular message expire once five seconds has elapsed and up to 24 hours.
While Secret Conversations supports emojis, stickers and photos, it is not yet compatible with the use of GIFs and videos or making payments.
Facebook began testing Secret Conversations with a small group of users back in July and will continue to work on improving the feature’s functionality.
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