Facebook rolled out a “Secret Conversations” feature in its Messenger App. The new feature allows users to encrypt their message so that no one can read them except for the two people in the conversation. In fact, not even the government or Facebook will have access to conversations in secret mode, according to the social network.
Messages will be sent to the device used to start or first respond to the conversation. If you’re chatting in secret mode on your smartphone, you won’t see messages on your desktop.
Facebook also gives users the ability to certain messages within Secret Conversations expire after five seconds or a day - better than any feature that’s offered on Snapchat. Please keep in mind that the person you’re messaging could decide to share your secret conversation with others (ex: take a screenshot). Users can’t send any GIFs or personal payments, though stickers, emoji, and photos are available.
In order to turn on Facebook’s Secret Conversations in messenger, you’ll need to make sure to install the latest version of Facebook’s iOS and Android app. According to Facebook, messages will only be secret if both users have the updated version of the app.
Secret Conversations uses the Signal encryption system, which has a reputation in the security community. It was developed by Open Whisper Systems, which was the first to use it in its own Signal app before partnering with other companies. Back in July, Facebook announced the new security mechanism and tested it with beta users.