With today’s announcement, Meta said it has begun rolling out the test of end-to-end encryption as the default for Messenger. Some of the messaging service’s regular features, such as chat themes, custom chat emojis and reactions, group profile photos, link previews, and active status, are now available in end-to-end encrypted chats.
End-to-end encryption for some chats will continue to be rolled out over the next few months to millions of users all over the world. Whenever a participant in one of these conversations is upgraded, they will receive a notification from Messenger. In order to protect the company’s infrastructure and the chat experience for its users, Meta claims it randomly selects and upgrades individual threads.
‘We know people want a space to connect and they want to know that those conversations are private, safe, and secure,’ Meta wrote in a blog post. Because of this, we’ve assembled a group of dedicated engineers, cryptologists, designers, and policy experts to implement end-to-end encryption as the default on Messenger. Careful testing is necessary before committing to building a secure and resilient end-to-end encrypted service for the billions of messages sent on Messenger daily.
The “secret conversations” feature of Meta’s end-to-end encrypted Messenger was first tested in 2016. Messenger’s group chats and phone calls have been end-to-end encrypted as an option since January. While end-to-end encryption is not yet enabled by default for all conversations on Messenger, like on Meta’s other popular chat app WhatsApp, this is set to change as the company rolls out default end-to-end encryption.
As for Instagram, in 2021, the widely used Meta app started testing end-to-end encrypted messages via an opt-in setting. This function was made available to all users of the social media app in Ukraine and Russia in February of last year.
Meta has stated that it plans to implement end-to-end encryption security as standard across all of its apps by 2023. Although no new information on this schedule has been provided recently, the company has promised to keep everyone apprised of its progress in implementing end-to-end encryption for Messenger.