Facebook Messenger gets fully encrypted voice and video calls

Facebook’s Messenger now includes the option to encrypt voice and video calls end-to-end.

The company announced the new feature for the app in a blog post on Friday (13 August). Messenger has offered end-to-end encryption for text chat since 2016, and WhatsApp, also owned by Facebook, already offers the same level of security for messages and calls.

As well as encryption, Facebook also announced that Messenger’s disappearing messages will now feature more options for how long messages persist before being removed.

In the blog post, Ruth Kricheli, director of product management for Messenger, said: “People expect their messaging apps to be secure and private, and with these new features, we’re giving them more control over how private they want their calls and chats to be.”

End-to-end encryption means that messages are securely encoded from point of dispatch until they arrive on a recipient’s device, theoretically ensuring that no one, not even service operators like Facebook, can determine their contents even if they intercept the messages in transit.

Kricheli also said that Facebook would begin testing additional new features “in the coming weeks”. One such feature is end-to-end-encryption for group chats and calls in Messenger. Currently, only one-to-one interactions on the app can avail of increased security features.

Additionally, the company will begin “a limited test with adults in certain countries” of full encryption options for Instagram messages. These will work similarly to Messenger, where users will need to already be connected to each other to start a secure chat.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp rolled out disappearing photo and video messages to all users. However, the app is also the subject of major data protection and consumer watchdog investigations in Europe.

In early 2019, Facebook announced its intention to begin integrating messaging across Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. In September 2020, it began testing such integration and said it would expand it globally soon. The integration of Facebook’s three huge messaging services has the potential to complicate ongoing antitrust proceedings the company faces.

The post Facebook Messenger gets fully encrypted voice and video calls appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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