Facebook promised the ability of all 900 Million Messenger Users to encrypt their messages and keep them private last July. Today, according to an announcement on Wired.com, that has finally happened.
There are caveats, of course:
- The encryption is “Opt-In”
- No one can read the conversation except the two people involved in the conversation – not Facebook, law enforcement or government agencies
- It has to be done new with each conversation you want kept private
- You can only maintain the privacy of the conversation on the same device (phone, tablet, pc) that you started it on
- Senders can choose a Snapchat-style expiration time for messages, ranging from five seconds to one day
- You can’t send GIF or Video files in the messages, but you an attach JPEG and stickers
- In order to receive encrypted messages both parties need to be using the updated Messenger App
The new tool is called “Secret Conversations” and when you update to the newest version of the Messenger App, you will now see an option to start a “Secret Message” at the top right of the new message screen.
If encrypting your messages, and keeping sensitive conversations truly secret, is important to you, here is how you turn it on:
If you want to start a new encrypted conversation:
- Tap the new conversation icon at the top right.
- Tap “Secret” in the top right.
- Choose your recipient and begin messaging.
If you want to turn an ongoing conversation into an encrypted Secret Conversation:
- Open the message thread.
- Tap their name at the top of your screen.
- Tap “Secret Conversation” to switch it over.
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