Facebook parent company Meta brings several updates to Secret Conversations, Messenger’s end-to-end encrypted chat feature.
Secret Conversations is not new to Messenger. It has been around since 2016. The service offers end-to-end encryption, as well as other features such as disappearing messages after a set period of time and screenshot notifications.
But new features are added, improving much of what you can do with Secret Conversations. This makes the chat experience close to mainstream chat applications.
The new features include the following:
- Chat themes were added to help personalize and enhance conversations in end-to-end encrypted chats. Users can set themes, including static color and gradient themes.
- Custom chat emojis and reactions help users personalize responses. A full menu of emoji reactions was added. Users can also customize the quick reaction tray in end-to-end encrypted chats.
- Choose group profile photos for different chats with friends or work colleagues.
- Link previews let users see where a link will take them, before clicking it.
- Active Status allows other users to see when you’re active, so they know when it’s a good time to call. The feature can also be disabled if you want to improve privacy.
- Bubbles on Android (a circle with your friend’s picture) let you read and reply to messages while using other apps. Once enabled, a bubble will appear when you get a new message.
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Meta is also expanding testing default end-to-end encryption for Messenger to improve the privacy and security of chat messages. Adding that the company has “spent time building a team of talented engineers, cryptologists, designers and policy experts who are all committed to rolling out default end-to-end encryption on Messenger.”
Over the next few months, users will gradually see their chats upgraded with an extra layer of protection, with Messenger notifying individual chat threads of the update.