Facebook has finally rolled out the Secret Conversation update with opt-in encryption option. Facebook started testing this feature in July this year and now it has been rolled out globally for all Facebook Messenger users.
This feature uses an end-to-end encryption similar to Google’s Allo chat app. However, this is optional unlike WhatsApp, so you will have to enable it for specific conversations. According to Facebook, this feature allows users to set messages to self-destruct from anywhere between five seconds to a day.
Facebook has published a support page to explain the privacy features regarding secret conversations. To start a secret conversation, first choose the person and then tap on ‘i’ icon on top right corner which will prompt a list of options. One of these options is secret conversation, which you can enable by tapping on “turn on”.
Currently, this feature doesn’t support GIFs or videos and can only be used to send pictures, messages and stickers. Similar to WhatsApp, Facebook is using the same Signal Protocol for end-to-end encryption for secret conversation. This protocol was developed by Open Whisper Systems, which Google also uses for its incognito mode in the new Allo chat app.
As of today, this feature is available for all of Facebook Messenger’s 900 million users to protect their messages from everyone except the sender and recipient.