However, it will only function for one-on-one conversations. Messenger is taking the step of making end-to-end encryption the default setting for all personal messages and calls, accompanied by various other updates. This is positive news for anyone who values their online privacy — and ideally, that should include all of us.
Messenger Will Now Have Default End-to-End Encryption
On Wednesday, Meta announced the rollout of several updates to its messaging app, including the introduction of default end-to-end encryption. While the tech giant initially introduced end-to-end encryption to Messenger in 2016, it was only an option that users had to actively opt into. Although tests for default end-to-end encryption were announced in August, Meta now appears ready to launch this security feature for everyone.
Meta’s Loredana Crisan expressed in a blog post, “Delivering this has taken years because we’ve been deliberate in ensuring its accuracy. Our engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts, and product managers have dedicated tireless efforts to reconstruct Messenger features from the ground up.
With this update, all one-on-one Messenger conversations will now be entirely private, and only the intended participants can access the content. Meta won’t have access to the content of your messages unless one of the chat participants chooses to report a message. This encryption extends to both text conversations and video calls, although chats with more than two people remain unprotected for the time being.
The update won’t be immediately available to everyone, as Meta mentioned that it will take a few months to complete the global rollout. You’ll be aware that you have it when Messenger prompts you to establish a recovery method, such as a PIN number, enabling you to restore your messages when switching phones.
Concerns have arisen in the past about Meta’s capability to access the content of unencrypted Messenger conversations. In the previous year, a 17-year-old girl and her mother faced charges under Nebraska’s anti-abortion laws when the company complied with a police request to hand over their private messages. The introduction of default end-to-end encryption will undoubtedly offer some Messenger users a bit more peace of mind.
Messenger Updates Now Enable You to Edit Sent Messages
Meta is not just adding default encryption to its messaging app; according to Crisan, this represents the most significant set of improvements to Messenger since its initial launch in 2011.
Meta revealed that Messenger users can now edit sent messages, providing relief to those affected by autocorrect mishaps. There’s a 15-minute window to make adjustments after sending, and Meta can still view the edit history if reported. This change aims to reduce instances of friends altering your group chat name to reflect your latest typo.