Meta has taken a step forward in enhancing the privacy of its users by gradually rolling out end-to-end encryption for its Messenger service. Along with this, it has also added a range of features such as personalized chat themes, custom emojis, reactions, group profile photos, link previews and active status to the chats.
This move comes shortly after Meta has combined the settings for Facebook and Instagram for a more streamlined user experience.
Meta has announced that it has started to expand the testing of default end-to-end encryption for its Messenger service. The company recognizes that people desire a private and secure space for their conversations and has invested in building a team of experts in engineering, cryptography, design, and policy to implement default end-to-end encryption on Messenger.
- Chat themes: The new update for end-to-end encrypted chats in Meta allows users to personalize and enhance their conversations by adding chat themes, including static color and gradient options.
- Custom chat emojis and reactions: Allows users to see the full menu of emoji reactions and customize the quick reaction tray.
- Group profile photos: With the new update, users can now select group profile photos for different chats with friends or colleagues
- Link previews: Meta has rebuilt link previews for end-to-end encrypted chats, allowing users to view the destination of a link before clicking on it for better security and privacy.
- Active Status: This feature allows people to see when you are active, which lets them know when it’s a good time to call. Users can also choose to turn this feature off for improved privacy.
- Bubbles on Android: The Bubbles feature, which displays a circle with a friend’s picture, allows users to read and respond to messages while using other apps. Once enabled, a bubble will appear when a new message is received.
Meta will gradually upgrade more chats with end-to-end encryption over the next few months and will notify users when their individual chat threads are upgraded. The process of selecting and upgrading individual threads is random, and the company will be providing more information for users who have questions about this process.
Meta has stated that the implementation of the new features and default end-to-end encryption for its Messenger service is designed to be random in order to avoid negative impacts on its infrastructure and the chat experience of users. They also assure that this new implementation will continue to provide a fast, reliable and rich experience for users on Messenger.
Announcing the new features via post, Meta shared that
Building a secure and resilient end-to-end encrypted service for the billions of messages that are sent on Messenger every day requires careful testing. We’ll provide updates as we continue to make progress towards this goal over the course of 2023.