Facing historical scrutiny in the privacy department, Facebook is rolling out end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) voice and video calls for users of its Messenger platform, along with updated controls for disappearing messages. The social network plans to launch yet more privacy-focused updates in coming weeks.
While E2EE has been available for years in Messenger’s text chat, voice and video calls had yet to receive the same lock-and-key treatment. Starting now, all communications via Facebook Messenger undergo the same encryption scrutiny, “to keep personal conversations safe from hackers and criminals,” according to the social media behemoth.
“Since 2016, we’ve offered the option to secure your one-on-one text chats with end-to-end encryption,” writes Ruth Kricheli, Director of Product Management for Facebook Messenger.”
“In the past year, we’ve seen a surge in the use of audio and video calling with more than 150 million video calls a day on Messenger. Now we’re introducing calling to this chat mode so you can secure your audio and video calls with this same technology, if you choose,” Kricheli notes.
According to t0 the social network, the content of any message or call in a conversation is now protected from the moment it leaves your device to the moment it reaches the recipient.
“This means that nobody else, including Facebook, can see or listen to what’s sent or said,” Kricheli clarifies.
Users can still report a message to Facebook if the situation calls for it – even end-to-end encrypted ones.
Facebook is also updating Disappearing Messages, enabling users to choose the amount of time before all new messages disappear, from 5 seconds to 24 hours.
Yet more options await those wary of their privacy and security in Messenger exchanges, including E2EE for group chats and an opt-in for E2EE in Instagram’s DMs. These features are coming to “test users” in the coming weeks. E2EE for Instagram DMs will kick off as “a limited test with adults in certain countries,” Facebook says.