Meta, the company that makes Facebook Messenger and owns the similar instant-messaging platform WhatsApp, has announced that it finally supports end-to-end encryption as standard with that being the default for all new chats. The move comes after Meta promised to make this change some time ago. Messenger has been around since 2016 and launched against a very different instant messaging backdrop.
By adding end-to-end encryption Facebook Messenger ensures that all messages and calls are protected from snooping eyes before they leave the sending device. They are then unencrypted when they are received at the other end, with nobody between those two points able to decipher what was going on. That also goes for Meta, although that will change should the message be reported for violation of the Facebook Messenger terms.
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Meta does say that it might take a little while for all chats to be updated with the new default, but there will be no limitation on the functionality that is available to the people using those chats once end-to-end encryption has been enabled.
Meta’s Head of Messenger, Loredana Crisan, also noted that the company has introduced new privacy, safety, and control features over the years since Messenger launched in 2016 in an attempt to make the messaging platform safer for people to use.
Other tweaks to this latest release of Facebook Messenger include the ability to edit messages for up to 15 minutes after they were sent, while disappearing messages now last for 24 hours after being sent. There is also the option di enable or disable read receipts for those who don’t always want to be under pressure to respond immediately.