Facebook has been coming after Snapchat for some time. It’s slowly starting to introduce similar, or in some cases identical *cough* Instagram Stories *cough*, features. It’s latest is Messenger’s Secret Conversations.
What are Secret Conversations?
Secret Conversations is Facebook Messenger’s newest feature. It adds an extra layer of security called end-to-end encryption. This is the same encryption that you get in WhatsApp (also owned by Facebook). It uses special ‘keys’ that ensures only you and the person you send the message to can read it. That means Facebook or any other external organisation or individual can read you messages.
steals borrows a feature from Snapchat – Disappearing messages. Secret Conversations allows you to set a time limit on your message so that after a certain length of time the message is no longer readable. The time is set for each message and can be anything from 5 seconds up to a day.
How can I use Secret Conversations?
Facebook is rolling Secret Conversations out to Messenger users at the minute. To check if you’ve got it, first of all, make sure your Messenger app is up to date.
Find the ‘Me’ tab (found in the bottom right-hand corner on iOS) and click on it. You should now see your Messenger QR code at the top, along with your username. If you begin to look down the list of options you should see Secret Conversations.
Click into the Secret Conversations menu and turn Secret Conversations on. Now you’re ready to send a message. In order to send a Secret Conversation message, the person who you’re sending it to also needs to have this feature turned on.
Head back to the home tab on Messenger and click the ‘new message’ button in the top right-hand corner and a new message will appear. In the same place, the word ‘secret’ will now be showing. Click this button and choose who you would like to send a message to.
Type the message or choose the picture you would like to send just like you would in a normal conversation. If you want to add a time limit to the message, click the timer dial next to your message before you send it. Choose from the menu the length of time you want to use. It’s worth noting that you should be careful about what you send through Secret Conversations. Although it is encrypted and messages delete, the person you’re messaging can still screenshot your conversations.
What is it good for?
Well, that’s really for you to decide. We use Snapchat on a daily basis and conversations disappear, so having this built into Facebook Messenger could be a huge bonus. We’ll be testing it out further, but in the meantime, let us know what you have used it for.
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