Although WhatsApp has had encrypted messaging for a long time, sending encrypted messages hadn’t been incorporated into Facebook Messenger. But this shortcoming has been taken care of. Now you can send encrypted messages in Facebook Messenger. The only problem is, you have to toggle individual messages. It’s like, sending encrypted messages is not turned on by default for every message you send and receive in Facebook Messenger. Just those messages are encrypted that you choose to be encrypted. The encryption feature in Facebook Messenger is called “Secret Conversations” and it has been rolled out to all 900 million devices that seem to be using Facebook Messenger. But this “Secret Conversations” feature is not implemented automatically. In order to be able to use it, you will have to update your Facebook messenger app manually.
How do you know you can send encrypted messages in Facebook Messenger? Although it is not explicitly mentioned on any update, if you have recently updated your Facebook Messenger, you can notice the “secret” option on the top-right screen of your “new message” screen.
Another feature that has been just introduced with the latest update is the expiration time. You can decide for how long the message can stay once it is read.
As mentioned above, encryption in Facebook Messenger has to be enabled manually for every conversation. This may be due to the legal problems Facebook is facing in countries like Brazil where it has been repeatedly targeted: its accounts were frozen and one of its top executives was arrested. Although many people are complaining that common folks who are not aware of the feature may not be able to use it, for the time being, it is better than nothing. Besides, people who would like to send messages that need to be encrypted will sooner or later find out how to encrypt them.
Here is more information on how you can start secret conversations (encrypted messaging) in Facebook Messenger.
How do you carry out encrypted or secret conversations in Facebook Messenger?
There will be two scenarios:
Starting a new encrypted conversation:
- Start a new conversation by tapping the new conversation icon
- Tap “Secret” on the top right corner of the conversation screen
- Choose your recipient and send the message
Encrypting an existing conversation or turning it into a secret conversation:
- Open an ongoing message thread
- Tap the name of the person with whom you want to carry on an encrypted conversation
- Tap “Secret Conversation” to turn an existing conversation into an encrypted conversation
In case you are unable to send encrypted or secret conversations to particular persons, it means they haven’t yet updated their Facebook messenger app. Tell them to do so.