Facebook Messenger finally gets end-to-end encryption with ‘Secret Conversations’

Facebook has finally rolled out the much-awaited ‘Secret Conversations‘ feature for all its Messenger users. The highlight of the features is its ability to offer end-to-end encryption for conversations among two participating devices. Just like WhatsApp, the feature ensures your conversations cannot be accessed or monitored by third parties including Facebook.

Though unlike other instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Google’s Allo where chats are automatically encrypted, users will need to toggle the Secret Conversations feature in Messenger for any encrypted conversation they want to have. Besides, any Secret Conversation can only be accessed by the recipient and the sender, as users won’t be able to access it through a different device or their browser.

Furthermore, any Secret Conversation you have gets a black and white colour scheme to avoid confusion between a secret and a normal conversation. It employs the same protocol used by ‘Signal,’  developed by Opera Whisper systems which are meant to be highly secure.

In addition, the feature also allows you to set a timer for any message you send, which automatically self-destructs after the allotted time, making sure that your conversations are absolutely secure from prying eyes.

However, it only allows you to send stickers and images, as the feature doesn’t support GIFs and videos. Moreover, it does not work for group chats either.

How does it work?

First, make sure you and the recipient have the latest version of the app installed for the feature to work. After that, you’ll need to choose a contact with whom you want to have a secret conversation. Then in the Messenger list, just tap on the recipient’s name which lists down multiple chat options.  In the drop-down list, you’ll see the new Secret Conversation feature sporting a Black and White interface. While right next to the typing bar you’ll see the timer icon, which allows you to set the timer if you wish to, which ranges from 5 seconds to 24 hours.

Once you start having the secret conversation with the chosen recipient, you’ll see ‘secret conversations’ as well as regular chat conversations in the recent chat list. Besides, Facebook also offers a device key to make sure that your ‘secret conversations’ are encrypted. Both the sender as well as the recipient can use this device key as means to verify that their messages are encrypted.