Security News

Secret Conversations on Messenger will hide your chats from Facebook

Julia Szymańska, 27 September 2016

Following WhatsApp's transition to encrypted messages, Facebook rolls out Secret Conversations to protect users' privacy.

Following WhatsApp Facebook started testing Secret Conversations on Messenger in July 2016. In its official announcement, Facebook declared: “ ... we are starting to test the ability to create one-to-one secret conversations in Messenger that will be end-to-end encrypted and which can only be read on one device of the person you’re communicating with. That means the messages are intended just for you and the other person – not anyone else, including us. Within a secret conversation, you can also choose to set a timer to control the length of time each message you send remains visible within the conversation. Our technology uses the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems. You can read more about the technical details here.”

Technically speaking, Secret Conversations provide end-to-end encryption. The Messenger Secret Conversations Technical Whitepaper explains the concept in more detail: “Secret Conversations relies upon the Signal Protocol. Messenger uses Signal Protocol’s implementation as available in the opensource libsignal-protocol-java and libsignal-protocol-c libraries for Android and iOS respectively.”

How do I start a secret conversation?

A secret conversation is available only on Messenger for Android and iOS users. That means that you won’t see them on your desktop when you are logged in to your Facebook account. Currently, you can send text, photo and stickers in secret conversations. Videos, payments, GIFs, group chats and voice calls are not yet available in the Secret Mode.To start an end-to-end encrypted conversation, open your Messenger and follow these steps:

To start a secret conversation:Secret-Conversations-iOS.png

Secret Conversation for iOS

  1. From the tab, tap
  2. Tap Secret in the top right
  3. Select who you want to message
  4. If you want, tap in the text box and set a timer to make the messages disappear

 Image source: Facebook newsroom