Facebook’s Messenger has long had the ability to chat with end-to-end encryption, which means your chats are encrypted when they leave your device and until they reach the recipient, protecting them from prying eyes. (even those of Facebook).
But if you enable the feature, your chats will look bland and have much less functionality than regular chats, which surely isn’t very appealing to users.
This is changing. Monday, Facebook announcement(Opens in a new window) it adds a number of new features to end-to-end encrypted chats. This includes chat themes, custom chat emojis and reactions, group profile pictures, link previews, and active status. Additionally, Android bubbles will now display when you receive a new message in an end-to-end encrypted chat.
While the new features are nice, it’s still not as good as just having end-to-end encryption enabled by default (as it should be). Facebook is also making progress there. The company says it is gradually expanding its test of enabling end-to-end encryption for Messenger by default.
Millions of users will see a notification like this in the next few months.
This means that within the next two months, some users will receive a notification that their chats have been upgraded to offer end-to-end encryption. Users will be randomly selected, so if it happens, it happens. Facebook says “millions” of people around the world will have access to this feature.
Facebook says it will continue to work to bring end-to-end encryption to more users in the future, with more updates coming this year.