Facebook is quietly rolling out an interesting new security feature for some users of its Messenger app. Secret Conversations is a separate place within the app to send fully encrypted messages to your friends without worrying that Big Facebook could be snooping on your sensitive chatter.
In the wake of the controversy over Apple’s iMessage encryption, it’s a bold move for Facebook, who want their Messenger app to become your primary source of communication. You can do just about anything within the app now, from basic texting to video calls, sending GIFs and now having private conversations with full end-to-end encryption. Each person involved in the conversation gets their own secret device key to make sure you are the only two people who are seeing your texts. The messages can also be set on a self-destruct timer and be permanently deleted from your device when you want to clear the trail of evidence.
Of course, there is still no guarantee that the recipient of your messages won’t screenshot them or run their mouth to other people about whatever you sent them, but it’s a good way to make sure the NSA or, the even more terrifying, Facebook overlords aren’t spying on you.