Facebook Messenger is adding end-to-end encryption to voice calls and video calls. The company announced today that it is rolling out the change, along with new controls for messages that disappear. Some users may also see new testing features for encryption.
No one can see or hear E2EE chats or calls except the person in conversation, so you can add an additional layer of protection to your Messenger voice and video conversations. However, Facebook says you can still report messages if needed.
Facebook Messenger provided end-to-end encryption for text messages in 2016 when Facebook added a “secret conversation” option to its app. Now that mode also supports calls. Facebook says Messenger is watching more than 150 million video calls today but said it will add this feature, depending on the growing interest in voice and video calls.
There are also updates about the disappearing messages. In the chat or message compose field (tap the timer icon), tap your profile picture to see the options. You can now enable hidden messages for both yourself and chat. It also allows you to more efficiently manage when messages are displayed and when messages disappear, from 5 seconds to 24 hours.
Facebook has several other E2EE features as well. In the next few weeks, they will begin public testing of E2EE group chats and calls with Messenger. The company also launches Instagram Direct Message Limit Test E2EE. Before using the DM exchange E2EE, you need to have an existing chat with someone or follow each other.
Everyone can see the above updates, but Facebook is running limited beta testing of other features. Some users will see options for encrypted group chats and calls with “if you have an existing chat thread, or if you are already connected and have friends and family.”
Others will receive support for Facebook’s existing non E2EE controls for those who can be contacted via Messenger. Finally, if you’re using Instagram, “Limited Testing” also offers the E2EE option for direct messages in that app.