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Facebook Messenger rolls out “Secret Conversations” and end-to-end encryption

Facebook Messenger rolls out “Secret Conversations” and end-to-end encryption

Following this week’s announcement that Snapchat is releasing a Memories function, the tables have turned with Facebook launching ‘disappearing’ messages and end-to-end encryption

The new feature, which will exist within the Messenger app that is used by 900 million people around the world, comes following WhatsApp’s introduction of end-to-end encryption in April.

“Your messages and calls on Messenger already benefit from strong security systems — Messenger uses secure communications channels (just like banking and shopping websites) as well as Facebook’s powerful tools to help block spam and malware,” read a Facebook blog.

“We’ve heard from you that there are times when you want additional safeguards — perhaps when discussing private information like an illness or a health issue with trusted friends and family, or sending financial information to an accountant.”

The function, which is currently available on a limited test basis with plans to fully roll out in the summer, will mean that the user can choose to set a timer to control the length of time each message they send remains visible within a conversation, using Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.

Currently only text can be sent through Secret Messages, not rich content like GIFs and videos, with messages sent via the function only available on one device for added security.