Facebook today announced that they’re finally testing end-to-end encryption in Messenger. The feature is being called Secret Conversations, and while you think you may have a quick and dirty idea of what’s to come, Facebook had to get a bit weird with their get-up.
For starters, end-to-end encryption in Facebook has to be started deliberately. When you choose to start a “secret conversation” with someone, you’re creating a 1-to-1 messaging box with someone on the device you started it on. That means a conversation started on your phone has to be carried out on your phone, and the other person has to participate on whichever device they initially accepted the conversation on.
As such, it may not be worth using secret conversations just for casual chatter with friends, as the flexibility of being able to continue the same conversation on multiple devices is not available.
Beyond that, the conversations — at this point in time, anyway — don’t support rich messenger features, including GIFs, stickers, and other features. It’s mostly pure text through and through. Despite those shortcomings, Facebook’s Secret Conversations do sound pretty neat. You can even have your messages disappear after a set amount of time in case you want to ensure the messages don’t somehow fall into the wrong hands.
The changes are currently in testing with a subset of users, and should everything go according to plan Facebook will roll it out to everyone at some point later this year.