In 2016 we’ve seen Facebook’s Messenger add quite a few new tricks, including group calls and the ability to send SMS messages. Now Facebook has announced it has begun testing its own end-to-end encryption service for Messenger that it is formally dubbing as “secret conversations”.
We first heard about this feature when it was rumored back in March, so it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise. The technology behind secret conversations is powered by the Signal Protocol, built by Open Whispers Systems, and ensures that messages can only be read by on one device.
Keep in mind that this end-to-end encryption is only applied to messages that its sender marks as secret, and not on all messages sent. Senders will also have the option of setting a timer for these messages, and defining how long they can be read before they disappear. If you are thinking this makes Secret a good Snapchat replacement, think again. Secret messages don’t support GIFs or videos, and are simply meant for sending private information with a bit more peace of mind.
While the option is being tested now to select users, Facebook anticipates a wider rollout sometime later this summer. What do you think, is this something you could see yourself using? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.