Facebook Messenger introduces ‘secret conversations’ function that allows messages to self-destruct

  • Facebook Messenger is launching an end-to-end encryption feature called ‘secret conversations’
  • ‘Secret conversations’ offers users to send encrypted messages which can only be seen by the recipient for a limited time
  • ‘Secret conversations’ has opt-in encryption which lets users manually activate the feature

Since its initial launch in 2014, Facebook Messenger has been playing catch up in the messaging app league.

From being an underdog in messaging services, Messenger has improved greatly over the years as it has been adding a string of cool features like sending gifs and making video calls to any of your Facebook friends.

This was all made possible by David Marcus; a former PayPal executive that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hired to build up Messenger to the world-class messaging app that it is today.

The tech giant has yet another trick up its sleeves as they unveil a cool new feature — ‘secret conversations’.

This feature will offer end-to-end encryption on some messages to be read only by the sender and the recipient. It gives Messenger a heightened mode of security that Facebook hopes will attract global audiences to download the app, as per an article published by the New York Times.

“The fact that we have 1.65 billion people on Facebook already makes Messenger the best live, self-updating address book in the world,” Marcus said in an interview. “Because of the scale of our network, I feel like we really have a shot at this.”

To further protect your privacy with ‘secret conversations’, you can also choose to set a timer to control the length of time each message sent remains visible within the chat. The message will then be deleted and disappear from the chat box once the set time is up.

Such feature is actually not new among messaging apps, but what makes Messenger’s approach different is its ‘opt-in encryption’, as per an article published by Wired. This means users can manually control when they will use the encryption feature.

To keep Messenger’s momentum going, Marcus said he expected the fast pace of product releases for the app to continue.

“To make Messenger your preferred and primary communication platform, we have to build capabilities different from anyone else,” he said.