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Facebook tests self-destructing messages

Facebook tests self-destructing messages

With over 1.65 billion monthly active Facebook users and 800 million monthly active users on Facebook Messenger, the giant social network has announced it’s testing end-to-end encryption and message expiration for Messenger on mobile, branded as ‘Secret Conversations’. The messages will not be able to be read by anyone but the sender and the recipient.

“We’ve heard from you that there are times when you want additional safeguards – perhaps when discussing private information like an illness or a health issue with trusted friends and family, or sending financial information to an accountant,” explains Facebook.

Keen to give users complete privacy, the new feature is currently rolling out on a limited test basis in France for Android & iOS users. The new feature will not be a default setting in Messenger, but an opt-in, and will be only be available for mobiles devices.

The feature can be turned on by tapping an hourglass icon on the top-right corner of the conversation. Sent messages will either disappear an hour after they’re sent or users will be able to choose their own time-limit, whether that be 1 minute, 15 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours or after a day, depending on which potential version of Secret Conversations Facebook opts for.

Tapping the hourglass icon again will turn off the feature and settings will go back to normal. Beyond safeguarding user privacy, Facebook said “Disappearing messages gives people another fun option to choose from when they communicate on Messenger. We look forward to hearing people’s feedback as they give it a try.” However, the company hasn’t yet revealed if and when the Secret Conversations feature will be available in the UK and other countries.