Facebook Testing Self-Destructing Messages With End-To-End Encryption

Image courtesy of Facebook

Facebook is joining the list of apps that allow users to send messages that only exist for a certain amount of time: after testing a self-destructing function late last year, the social media company has announced an official test of “Secret Conversations” in Messenger that also features end-to-end encryption.

The social network announced a limited beta version of Messenger for Android and iOS with Secret Conversations, which will roll out more widely later this summer.

When the messages are encrypted, they’ll only be accessible to the two people in a conversation. As a message travels from one device to another, third parties won’t be able to decipher it.

“That means the messages are intended just for you and the other person — not anyone else, including us,” Facebook explains.

You’ll be able to decide when sending a message whether you want it to be extra secret or not.

“Starting a secret conversation with someone is optional,” Facebook says. “That’s because many people want Messenger to work when you switch between devices, such as a tablet, desktop computer or phone. Secret conversations can only be read on one device and we recognize that experience may not be right for everyone.”

Secret Conversations will also have a Snapchat-esque self-destruct setting that will delete those messages after a predetermined amount of time, a function we reported on in November 2015 when the company was testing it in France.

If you’re using secret conversations, you won’t be able to send rich content like GIFs or videos, make payments, or use other Messenger features, Facebook adds.

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