Facebook has been the number one social network for all the right reasons, one of the most Important ones being the algorithm that ensures that users keep connecting and stay active. The Algo keeps feeding the users with relevant stories and content they might be interested in but in the recent days, users have been complaining of end-to-end encryption. Following this, we now see that Facebook is finally offering extra protection to their users that we had already seen on the recently launched Google Allo application (Incognito Chat Messages). Called as “Secret Messages” the new section is deeply hidden within the options on your Facebook App ensuring that only those who have heard about it would start using it. Is this timing clearly an answer to Google’s Allo? We guess the same because Allo’s Incognito Chat feature has been preferred by many, though there have been suspicions that the data still would not be secure with Google.
We were informed by our reader “Jitendra Bachchan” who mentioned about getting an alert on his phone followed by the options showing up under the settings. Facebook had apparently mentioned earlier that this new feature would be rolled out in phases & finally it’s introduced in India. All your calls and messages are already secured but with these secret messages feature they have additional safeguards wherein you wish to have a very private conversation probably say when discussing around your finance. This Encryption means that any message you send can be read only by the receiver. No one else including Facebook can access these messages & this is the same encryption they are offering on WhatsApp.
How Do I Enable this?
To enable this feature, you need to head over to the Messenger App & Tap on the settings where you would find the option of “Secret Messages.” Following this Tap on the “Turn On” option that’s enabled on a device level & not on the account level. This apparently means that the messages are intended only for you and the other person, and this is why the self-destruction feature comes in. It automatically blurs the messages depending on the time interval you have set for auto-destruct. According to Facebook, they use the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems.
Once you have enabled this, you can message any friend or contact who has also enabled this feature on their phone. Following this, they would get an alert & you can start the discussion. Here you do get a Timer option that begins at 5 seconds and goes upto a maximum of 1 day while you can select the interval of your choice. The other features are exactly the same like sharing Media Files, Smileys, Location & Stickers.
Sadly from what we have experienced the messages we had sent were destructed but the messages received were still shown in the messenger. This probably could be a bug because on the Google Allo Application both the sent & received messages get deleted on the time set, while here only the messages that were sent were blurred while the ones received were visible even after an hour.
Update: After force closing the messenger application and re-opening we did find that the received messages were also deleted and not just blurred that confirms that the feature is similar to what Allo offers. Let us know if you found this new feature user & what would be the use case in your case.