Facebook has started testing a new feature for Messenger that will allow users to create one-to-one conversations with end-to-end encryption. Called Secret Conversations, the feature will also allow users to control the length of time for which a message will remain visible within a conversation. These messages can only be read on one device, so if you have Messenger set up on multiple devices, you will only be able to read the conversation on the one you happen to be texting from. Starting a Secret Conversation is optional, as many people want Messenger to work between multiple devices, and this feature locks your private messages to only a specific device. Facebook also says that Secret Conversations currently do not support rich content such as GIFs, videos or financial transactions.
Secret Conversations is currently being tested with a limited number of users, and Facebook will be making this feature more widely available this summer. Further, the company notes that it uses the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems. The developer also created a messaging app called Signal, and the source code for the app is published on GitHub. This allows security experts to scrutinise the code and know exactly what the app does with a user’s text and calls. Rumours that Facebook was testing such a feature surfaced in May, and screenshots suggested that the feature might have been initially called disappearing messages.