Facebook has started testing Messenger’s built-in end-to-end encryption (E2EE). The test will begin this week with talks between a select set of users, according to a statement from parent firm Meta Thursday. For the chosen users, it will be turned on automatically. New communications, including calls and messages, will always be end-to-end encrypted between members of the test group.
For a while now, Messenger has supported optional E2EE. In the beginning, it only covered one-on-one conversations, but earlier this year, the functions were expanded to include group chats. However, it has taken the company a while to make encryption the norm. Facebook announced its intention to make E2EE the default in 2022 in April of last year. But immediately after changing the company’s name to Meta in November, it postponed the plans until 2023.
The majority of well-known messaging services, including Metas WhatsApp, come with E2EE by default. This makes it very difficult for anyone who isn’t a conversation member to access the messages. Unfortunately, Messenger still makes E2EE optional, which defeats the point somewhat. Few people are knowledgeable about the feature or aware enough to activate it. Finally, the corporation is setting E2EE as the default, further enhancing the security of communications. A few months from now, a bigger deployment might occur.
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MORE CHANGES TO MESSENGER FROM FACEBOOK In the upcoming months, Messenger will get a number of new capabilities in addition to having E2EE as the default. First, users will be able to safely save their messages in a new secured backup system. Users must save a PIN or code in order to access the backup. E2EE backup is currently being tested by Messenger’s iOS and Android apps.
Advertisement Additional Messenger features unveiled by Facebook include the ability to reply to Facebook Stories, verify E2EE codes, and sync deleted conversations across devices. Additionally, E2EE will soon be available for hands-free messages delivered using the business’ smart Ray-ban Stories glasses.
However, one of the current Messenger features will no longer be available. Vanish mode is being eliminated, according to Facebook, because disappearing messages currently accomplish the same thing. In an end-to-end encrypted chat, these characteristics caused viewed messages to automatically vanish.
Not to mention, Meta is extending the scope of its test of optional E2EE for calls and texts on Instagram. In August of last year, the restricted test started. A prompt asking if they want to enable E2EE is displayed to users chosen for the test. When the business intends to broadly implement E2EE by default on Instagram is unknown.