In a blog post, the company mentions that Messenger has been offering users the option to enable end-to-end encryption since 2016. With the latest update, Meta is changing private chats and calls across Messenger to be end-to-end encrypted by default.
Importance of end-to-end encryption
The messaging platform already offers multiple privacy and security features which include delivery controls that allow users to choose who can message them as well as app lock. Apart from this, the service also offers safety features like report, block and message requests.
However, a default end-to-end encryption adds an extra layer of security to protect the content of user’s messages and calls shared with friends and family. These messages and calls are protected from the moment they leave the user’s device to the moment they reach the receiver’s device. This means that nobody, including Meta, will be able see what’s sent or said, unless users choose to report a message to the company. End-to-end encryption will offer users more secure chats in Messenger.
Alongside the default end-to-end encryption, Meta has also introduced multiple other features for its messaging service. These features will be immediately available for users to access. However, the company may take some time to update Messenger chats with end-to-end encryption.
Other features coming to Messenger
Edit a message: This feature will allow users to edit a message within 15 minutes. When a user reports abuse against an edited message on Messenger, Meta will be able to see the previous versions of the edited message.
Disappearing messages: Disappearing messages on Messenger now last for 24 hours after being sent. Users will also be notified when disappearing messages are enabled. Disappearing messages on Messenger will only be available for end-to-end encrypted conversations. However, users can still report disappearing messages if they receive something inappropriate. Meta will also notify users if it detects someone taking a screenshot of a disappearing message.
Read receipts control: Messenger’s new read receipt control will allow users to decide if they want others to see when they have read their messages.
Photo and Video Upgrades: Meta claims that users share over 1.3 billion photos and videos per day on Messenger. The company is now making photos and videos easier to access, upgrading the image quality, adding fun layouts and introducing more controls so users can reply or react to any photo or video in a collection. Meta has also promised to continue rolling out improvements over the coming months. The company is currently testing HD media and file sharing improvements with a small group of users and is planning to scale them in the coming months.