Meta, the parent company of Messenger, has officially initiated the rollout of default end-to-end encryption for personal chats and calls. This substantial security enhancement ensures that only the intended users have access to the content, preventing Meta and other third-party entities from viewing private conversations. Although group chat encryption remains optional, this move marks a significant step in bolstering user privacy.
The journey to implement end-to-end encryption on Messenger has been a meticulous process, involving years of testing and refinement. Loredana Crisan, Meta’s Head of Messenger, emphasized the extensive collaboration of engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts, and product managers in rebuilding Messenger features from the ground up.
Originally introduced as a limited test in 2016 through “secret conversations,” the end-to-end encryption feature gradually expanded. In 2021, voice and video calls received encryption, followed by an optional feature for group chats in January 2022. By August 2023, Meta fulfilled its commitment to deliver default end-to-end encryption for Messenger.
The company employed the Signal protocol for encryption, leading to the rebuilding of features like the sticker library and chat storage. With this implementation, Messenger inches closer to the security standards set by Meta’s WhatsApp.
In addition to security updates, Meta introduces new Messenger features, such as message editing within 15 minutes of sending, speed control for voice messages, enhanced photo and video layouts, and a revamped interface for disappearing messages. Further improvements, including the ability to send HD photos and videos, are in the pipeline.
This comprehensive update aligns with Meta’s commitment to user security and sets the stage for similar enhancements in other messaging platforms, including Instagram DMs.