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Meta locks up Messenger chats with default end-to-end encryption

Meanwhile, Messenger and Instagram messages are still twiddling their thumbs on the encryption waiting list.

The image displays a collection of smartphone screens showcasing various features of a facebook's end-to-end encryption messaging app, including encryption, chat settings, and multimedia sharing capabilities.
Image: Meta

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has finally pushed out end-to-end encryption for personal messages and calls on Messenger and Facebook. It’s a promise that’s been more drawn out than the director’s cut of a Peter Jackson movie, but it’s here now folks.

End-to-end encryption? What’s that?” you might ask. Well, it’s a bit like whispering a secret into your friend’s ear in a noisy room. Only you and your friend know what’s being said.

In this case, Meta is the noisy room, but it can’t hear your secret. Your messages and calls are lockboxed from the moment they leave your device to the moment they reach the receiver’s device. Even Meta, with all its invasive tech wizardry, can’t peek inside.

READ MORE: What is end-to-end encryption?

The image shows a three-panel display of a messaging app interface with text conversations, reaction options, and an on-screen keyboard for replies.
Image: KnowTechie

This privacy upgrade hasn’t been a walk in the park. It’s been more like a hike in the Grand Canyon. In steel-toed boots. With a backpack full of bricks.

Messenger’s team of engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts, and product managers have been toiling away, rebuilding Messenger features from scratch for this very moment. And now, they’re ready to show it off.

But Meta hasn’t just rolled out end-to-end encryption and called it a day. They’ve thrown in a few extra goodies.

Messenger now lets you edit a message up to 15 minutes after it’s been sent (for those “Oops, typo!” moments), and you can also enjoy higher-quality media.

The image shows two smartphones side by side against a purple background, displaying a conversation with disappearing messages about gratitude for a show and making plans.
Image: KnowTechie.

There’s also a disappearing messages feature that makes your messages vanish into thin air 24 hours after being sent. Perfect for those “This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds” scenarios.

While this is a step forward for privacy, it’s worth mentioning that group chats in Messenger and Instagram messages are still twiddling their thumbs on the encryption waiting list.

But hey, one step at a time, right?

All said and done, it’s clear that Meta is taking strides in the right direction, even if it took them a while to lace up their running shoes. So, get out there and enjoy your newfound privacy, Messenger users.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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