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Meta launches end-to-end encryption on Messenger

Aside from end-to-end encryption, Meta also introduced new features on its messaging app.
Courtesy: Meta

A more secure Messenger experience?

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that Messenger (at last!) now has default end-to-end encryption.

After years of work rebuilding Messenger, we've updated the app with default end-to-end encryption for all personal calls and messages. Huge congrats to the team on making this happen, he said in a Facebook post.

Loredana Crisan, head of Messenger, said in a statement that the extra layer of security provided by end-to-end encryption means that the content of messages and calls are protected from the moment they leave a device to the moment they reach the receiver’s device. 

This means that nobody, including Meta, can see what's sent or said unless the users choose to report a message.

Aside from this, Meta said users can now edit a message up to 15 minutes after sending it. Disappearing messages on Messenger, meanwhile, now last for 24 hours after being sent.

Our new read receipt control allows you to decide if you want others to see when you have read their messages. We know people value their privacy, and this feature gives you the ability to feel less pressure to respond immediately, Crisan said.

Accessing photos and videos was also made easier. Meta also upgraded the image quality, added fun layouts, and introduced more controls so you can reply or react to any photo or video in a collection.

We're going to continue rolling out improvements over the coming months — we're currently testing HD media and file sharing improvements with a small group of users and plan to scale them in the coming months, Crisan said.

For voice messaging, users can now play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speeds, pick up listening to a voice message from where they left off, and continue listening to a voice message when they navigate away from the chat or the app.

We want to be open about the security technology we use and welcome the chance to engage with external cryptographers and security experts. That's why we are also publishing two papers which outline our approach to cryptography, as well as how we encrypt your message history with Secure Storage, Crisan said.

Crisan added that "this is the biggest set of improvements to Messenger since it was first launched in 2011." It may take several months to complete the global roll-out for the default end-to-end encryption, the official noted.

When your chats are upgraded, you will be prompted to set up a recovery method, such as a PIN, so you can restore your messages if you lose, change, or add a device, Crisan said.

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