meta announced today that it has started to gradually expand testing standard end-to-end encryption for Messenger. The messaging service also adds some of its standard features to end-to-end encrypted chats, including chat themes, custom chat emojis and responses, group profile photos, link previews, and active status.
In the coming months, millions of users around the world will gradually see some of their chats upgraded with end-to-end encryption. Messenger will notify people in these individual chat threads when they’ve been upgraded. Meta says the process in which it selects and upgrades individual threads is random, so there’s no negative impact on the company’s infrastructure and users’ chat experience.
“We know people want a space to connect and they want to know that those conversations are private and secure,” Meta said in a statement. blog post. “That’s why we’ve spent time building a team of talented engineers, cryptologists, designers and policy experts who are all committed to rolling out standard end-to-end encryption on Messenger. Building a secure and resilient end-to-end encrypted service for the billions of messages sent through Messenger every day requires careful testing.”
Meta first tested end-to-end encryption features for Messenger in 2016 for “secret conversations.” Last January, the company introduced opt-in end-to-end encryption for group chats and calls for Messenger. But unlike Meta’s other popular chat app WhatsApp, end-to-end encryption isn’t yet enabled by default for all conversations on Messenger, but this will soon change as the company starts rolling out standard end-to-end encryption. encryption.
As for Instagram, the popular Meta app began testing end-to-end encrypted posts in 2021 through an opt-in setting. Last February, the social media app introduced the feature to all users in Ukraine and Russia.
Meta has previously said it expects to roll out standard end-to-end encryption protection for all of its apps sometime in 2023. The company has not provided a recent update on this timeline, but says it will provide updates as it continues to bring end-to-end encryption to Messenger.