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What's The Deal With Facebook's New 'Secret Conversations?'

By Anna Bringas , Oct 06, 2016 12:20 PM EDT
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Facebook users can now send one another "secret" messages which cannot be read by eavesdroppers, thanks to the maximum security found in Facebook Messenger's new update.

The social network's 900 million users can now have access to the feature. It uses end-to-end encryption, similar to what's found in Facebook's WhatsApp, Viber, Line and Google's new messaging app, Allo, News.com.au reported. 

Facebook, Government Cannot Access the 'Secret Messages'

Facebook's "self-destructing" messages allows the user to choose specific timelines before the message gets automcatically deleted. In fact, even the government or Facebook will not have access to conversations in secret mode, according to the social network.

"We wanted to make Messenger your primary messaging platform, and while we currently were already using a lot of security to ensure that your messages are safe and confidential, we felt that we needed to go one more extra step with this new mode," Facebook's vice president of messaging products David Marcus told TechCrunch.

The feature can be turned on when starting a new message within Messenger. To be able to use it, the user needs to install the latest version of the iOS and Android app. Messages will only be kept secret if both users have the updated versions.

"We've heard from you that there are times when you want additional safeguards -- perhaps when discussing private information like an illness or a health issue with trusted friends and family, or sending financial information to an accountant," the company said earlier this year.

Facebook's Secret Messages Intended for  More Privacy

Facebook secret messages is obviously designed for those who want a more private messaging experience without the hassle of deleting conversations that can be read by anyone. According to Facebook's blog, "Starting a secret conversation with someone is optional." The reason to it is because many people want messenger to work when you switch it through different devices such as a phone, laptop, desktop computer or a tablet.

A feature noteworthy of highlighting from Facebook's secret conversations is that messages can only be read on one device. Facebook added that in secret conversations, rich content like GIFs and videos, making payments, or other popular Messenger features are not supported.


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