Facebook Rolls out New “Secret Conversation” Feature
Early last year, the popular messaging platform Whatsapp rolled out a code that provided an extra layer of security to its users. This feature created the largest end to end encrypted messaging network in history. Facebook is now taking a page out of one it’s messaging properties and allowing its Facebook Messenger users to encrypt their conversations so that no can read them (not even Facebook themselves or law enforcement). In order to activate the feature, users must opt-in to encrypt their messages from one device to another each time they start a new conversation.
This is a major difference between Facebook’s encryption rollout and other similar messaging devices’ rollout; users have to manually select the feature (in this case “Secret”) each time they begin a new encrypted conversation with friends. Users also have the ability to decide whether to add an expiration timer on sent messages.
Facebook’s “Secret Conversations” feature was most likely created for two primary reasons. The first one being to protect their users’ privacy. With the increasing amount of private information being shared on messaging apps, it was time for Facebook to catch up and protect their users. Messaging apps are increasing the number of services available to users in-app including shopping and peer to peer payments. These new features require the sharing of highly confidential data especially credit card numbers.
The second likely reason behind “Secret Conversations” is that the fact that users have to manually select “Secrets” every time they begin a new conversation can help appease government and law enforcement authorities that are concerned about technology obstructing intelligence. The encryption is not automatic and only those individuals who are sophisticated users of Facebook will likely remember to manually select the “Secrets” messaging option.
Below you’ll find the necessary steps to take in order to safeguard your conversations with encryption.
- Ensure you have the latest version of iOS and Android, if not update your phone’s software.
- When on the Facebook messenger app select “Me” from the bottom menu.
- Select Secret Conversations.
- Toggle Secret Conversations On and app Turn On in the pop-up that appears.
- Note that encrypted messages can only be set up on one phone.
- Attempt to send a message as usual with the icon in the top-right hand corner of the screen.
- Choose Secret from the top right hand corner.
Ultimately, this could be good for brands as users will continue feeling more and more comfortable purchasing products via their mobile devices.