Facebook Secret Conversations is a new feature designed to make your Messenger chats more secretive. This is quite an interesting move from the giant social network that has been criticized more than often for being too permissive when it came to our privacy. Quite the irony we have here – we can post pretty much all aspects of our life on our timeline, but now we have self-destructing messages to make up for that.
The new feature will use what IT guys call end-to-end encryption (E2EE). Basically, no one except you and the recipient will have access to the precious texts. Facebook Secret Conversations will hide messages from virtually all prying eyes. This means that now, not even Facebook employees or law enforcement officials can see your messages. The bad part is, officials won’t be able to properly investigate cyber-crimes even with a warrant to read such texts.
This technology makes use of the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems, a specialized on-device storage, and a different back-end infrastructure than what you get with regular Messenger conversations.
Facebook Secret Conversation is a totally different mode, and your ultra-private chats are set to be displayed in separate threads inside the app. Starting this type of conversation is optional, and you will have to activate the feature, as it is not set by default. There’s also a self-destruct option. Users can add expiration dates to their text, and after that period, the messages will erase on their own.
Your chats will only be read on one device. If you wrote your messages on a certain tablet, smartphone, desktop, or computer, and you want to re-read them, you will have to log in on that specific device to do so. This drawback might not make Secret Conversations so popular among users, as we usually want to have our conversations synced when switching devices. More so, the new feature does not support GIFs, videos, or other similar content that we enjoy in our regular conversations.
Up to this moment, Facebook Secret Conversations is in the testing stage, but the company will be making the feature more widely available in the course of the summer. Facebook is currently gathering feedback about the mode’s performance and functionality, as well as introducing new tools to enable users to report abusive content.
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