Facebook is today introducing a new Secret Conversations feature for Messenger. With Secret Conversations, Facebook is enabling end-to-end encryption which will allow users to secure their messages as it will only be readable on the recipient’s end. In Secret Conversations, you can only send plain text — meaning that you can’t send things like GIFs or videos. In addition to this, Secret Conversations feature also lets you automatically delete a message within a timeframe — for example, if you want to send a message to your friend which you don’t want them to be able to read after 30 minutes, Secret Conversations will automatically delete it after 30 minutes.
In a blog post, Facebook announced:
We put people first in everything we do at Messenger, and today we are beginning to roll out a new option within Messenger to better support conversations about sensitive topics. Your messages and calls on Messenger already benefit from strong security systems — Messenger uses secure communications channels (just like banking and shopping websites) as well as Facebook’s powerful tools to help block spam and malware. 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.
Starting a secret conversation with someone is optional. That’s because many people want Messenger to work when you switch between devices, such as a tablet, desktop computer or phone. Secret conversations can only be read on one device and we recognize that experience may not be right for everyone. It’s also important to note that in secret conversations we don’t currently support rich content like GIFs and videos, making payments, or other popular Messenger features.
Facebook is currently testing Secret Conversations with some users on Messenger. The feature doesn’t seem to be available on Windows 10 or Windows 10 Mobile just yet, but it’ll probably come when the company is done testing the feature on other platforms.