10 September 2021
Facebook has announced a new Messenger update that brings end-to-end encryption (E2EE) support to voice and video calls. The team first added this extra layer of security to text messages in 2016 and is now expanding them beyond. It has further released new timer controls for disappearing messages to offer users more freedom.
The end-to-end encryption for Messenger voice and video calls will be an optional feature for users. Once enabled, their conversations will get secured in a way that no one will be able to spy on them. Facebook says "the content of your messages and calls in an end-to-end encrypted conversation is protected from the moment it leaves your device to the moment it reaches the receiver’s device."
The team noticed a significant surge in the usage of voice and video calls in the past year. The numbers have reached as high as 150 million Messenger video calls per day. It is one of the reasons that Facebook decided to expand E2EE protection to voice and video calls.
As for disappearing messages, the team has now added more options to set a timer. The timer can now be anywhere between five seconds to up to 24 hours. It previously used to offer preset timers i.e. one minute, 15 minutes, one hour, four hours, and 24 hours. The new option will offer more flexibility to users utilizing disappearing messages.
Facebook further announced plans for some of the beta testings it would do in the future. It will soon start testing end-to-end encryption for group chats including voice and video calls. It will also start testing E2EE for individual calls and chats on Instagram but they will be limited to select adult users in select countries.