Facebook last week said it would begin testing long anticipated end-to-end encryption capabilities in its Messenger app, enabling users to have secret conversations.
The new level of security means that a message will be visible only to the sender and the recipient — Facebook won’t even be able to read it.
Users can set a timer to limit the amount of time that a message remains visible during the conversation. Facebook has employed Open Whisper Systems’ Signal Protocol technology to provide the encryption.
One major caveat is that an end-to-end encrypted conversation can not be viewed on multiple mobile systems at the same time — however, the encryption is an optional feature.
Many users want to be able to switch devices during a conversation — for example, move from a mobile phone to a tablet or desktop computer. With the current technology, secret conversations can be read only on one device.
In addition, sending rich content like GIFs or video and making payments will not be possible using the encryption.