Facebook might offer encrypted video and audio chats to its users soon.
App researcher Jane Manchun Wong found evidence of the feature being tested as part of Facebook’s Secret Conversation Messenger feature.
Secret Conversations was added to Messenger in 2016, offering users an end-to-end encrypted chat experience. To activate it, tap the “New message” icon in Messenger’s top right corner and then tap “Secret.”
Right now, it will probably look very similar to a regular Chat in Messenger, but the audio and video call icons (top corner) will be missing. In Wong’s screenshot, though, they’re there.
Wong didn’t share any other details about the feature, and we don’t know when (or if) it’ll be launched. But it’s a pretty straightforward move to go from end-to-end encrypted chats to encrypted calls; for example, Signal, the privacy-focused messaging app, has an option for end-to-end encrypted calls already. It’s worth noting that Facebook is using the Signal Protocol — the same one Signal uses — for encryption in its Secret Conversations feature.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently pledged to rework the company’s platforms to be more privacy-focused. “People’s private communications should be secure. End-to-end encryption prevents anyone — including us — from seeing what people share on our services,” he wrote. This new feature could be one of the company’s first moves in that direction.