Sunday, 23 Jun 2024
Technology

Launching Default End-to-End Encryption on Messenger

Today, we are excited to announce that Eireview is rolling out default end-to-end encryption for personal messages and calls on Messenger and Facebook. This move is accompanied by a suite of new features that give you greater control over your messaging experience. We take the responsibility of protecting your messages seriously, and after years of investment and testing, we are proud to launch a safer, more secure, and private service.

The Extra Layer of Security

Since 2016, Messenger has offered the option for users to turn on end-to-end encryption. However, we are now taking it a step further by making private chats and calls across Messenger end-to-end encrypted by default. This significant development has taken time because we wanted to ensure we got it right. Our dedicated team of engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts, and product managers has worked tirelessly to rebuild Messenger features from the ground up. Along the way, we have introduced new privacy, safety, and control features such as delivery controls and app lock, as well as existing safety features like report, block, and message requests. We have collaborated closely with external experts, academics, advocates, and governments to identify risks and implement mitigations, ensuring that privacy and safety go hand-in-hand.

The extra layer of security provided by end-to-end encryption means that the content of your messages and calls with friends and family is protected from the moment they leave your device to the moment they reach the receiver’s device. This means that nobody, including Meta, can see what’s sent or said unless you choose to report a message to us.

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Enhanced Features for Secure Chats

End-to-end encryption brings more secure chats to Messenger, and these chats will now include all the familiar features you know and love, such as themes and custom reactions. Additionally, we are introducing a range of new features that we believe are important for our community. Although these new features will be available for immediate use, it may take some time for Messenger chats to be updated with default end-to-end encryption.

Edit a Message

One of the exciting new features is the ability to edit messages. If you’ve sent a message too soon or simply wish to make a change, you can now edit it within 15 minutes of sending. Rest assured, you can still report abuse in an edited message, and Meta will retain access to the previous versions of edited messages.

Phone screens showing the message editing feature on Messenger

Phone screen displaying an edited message on Messenger

Disappearing Messages

Disappearing messages on Messenger now last for 24 hours after being sent, strengthening privacy and security. We have also improved the interface, making it easier to tell when disappearing messages are turned on. This enhancement allows you to have more confidence that your messages will remain secure and won’t stick around forever. Disappearing messages on Messenger are available exclusively for end-to-end encrypted conversations. However, if you receive something inappropriate in a disappearing message, you can report it, and we will notify you if we detect that someone has taken a screenshot of the message.

Phone screens showing disappearing messages in a Messenger chat

Read Receipts Control

Respecting your privacy is crucial to us, which is why we have introduced a new read receipt control. With this feature, you can decide whether others can see when you have read their messages. We understand that people value their privacy, and this new capability allows you to feel less pressure to respond immediately.

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Photo and Video Upgrades

Photos and videos play an integral part in Messenger conversations, with over 1.3 billion shared daily. To enhance your experience, we have made several improvements. Photos and videos are now easier to access, with upgraded image quality, fun layouts, and increased controls that allow you to reply or react to any photo or video in a collection. We will continue to roll out improvements in the coming months, including testing HD media and file sharing enhancements with a select group of users.

Phone screen showing a collection of photos sent in a Messenger chat

Phone screen displaying a reply to a single photo in a collection of photos sent in a Messenger chat

Voice Messaging

Voice messaging has become increasingly popular, and we are excited to introduce new features to enhance this messaging format. You can now play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speeds, pick up listening to a voice message from where you left off, and continue listening even when you navigate away from the chat or the app.

Security Engineering

At Eireview, we value transparency and collaboration, which is why we welcome engagement with external cryptographers and security experts. To demonstrate our commitment to security, we are publishing two papers that outline our approach to cryptography and how we encrypt your message history with Secure Storage. Due to the large number of Messenger users, not everyone will immediately receive default end-to-end encryption. The global roll-out is expected to take several months. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is end-to-end encryption?
End-to-end encryption ensures that only the sender and the intended recipient can access the contents of a message or call. It provides an additional layer of security, protecting your communication from eavesdropping or interception.

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Q: Can I still use Messenger without end-to-end encryption?
Yes, Messenger without end-to-end encryption will still be available for those who prefer not to use this feature. However, we highly recommend enabling end-to-end encryption to enhance the privacy and security of your conversations.

Q: How can I activate end-to-end encryption on Messenger?
End-to-end encryption is now enabled by default for personal messages and calls on Messenger and Facebook. You don’t need to take any additional steps to activate it.

Conclusion

This launch marks a significant milestone for Eireview and Messenger. We are proud to present the biggest set of improvements to Messenger since its inception in 2011. By providing default end-to-end encryption and introducing new features, we aim to deliver a fast, reliable, and secure messaging service that prioritizes privacy and safety. We are committed to ongoing enhancements and look forward to continuing to serve you in the technology field.

To learn more about Eireview, visit our website here.