Facebook ‘Secretly’ Rolls Out End-to-End Encryption for All Messenger Users

All Facebook Messenger users now have access to end-to-end encryption feature Secret Conversations, but why is the social network being so secretive about it?

Facebook began testing Secret Conversations in July, and vice president of messaging products David Marcus said in a Facebook post at the time:

I’m glad to announce that Messenger is starting to test a feature called Secret Conversations that will both encrypt messages end-to-end and enable you to set a timer to control how long each message you send stays visible in the conversation on both devices (yours and your recipient’s).

To be clear, your existing “regular” messages and calls on Messenger already benefit from strong security systems as Messenger uses secure communications channels—just like banking services—all around. But we’re rolling out this additional capability as an option for the most sensitive conversations you might need to have. We’re making this an optional feature because a number of popular Messenger features don’t currently work or can’t work with end-to-end encrypted conversations, like using Messenger across multiple devices, archiving all your past conversations in case you lose your phone and sending rich content like animated GIFs.

A Facebook spokesperson told Andy Greenberg of Wired earlier this week that Secret Conversations was rolled out to all of the application’s users over the past few weeks, and users who have updated their app should see the option in the top right of their “new message” screens, enabling them to set expiration times for their messages, a la Snapchat.

However, Facebook did not publicize the full rollout of Secret Conversations, and Greenberg pointed out that users must still opt in and do so for every conversation, rather than being able to set the feature as a default option.

Messenger users: Will you use Secret Conversations?