Facebook Messenger adds end-to-end encryption for voice and video calls

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Facebook has added end-to-end encryption for voice and video calls in Messenger. Company announced in a blog post that it will introduce the change alongside the new controls for missing messages today. Some users may also see new encryption-related test features.

Facebook Messenger got end-to-end encryption for text messaging in 2016, when Facebook added a “secret chat” option to its app. Now this mode also supports calling. Facebook says it will increase this feature as interest in voice and video calls grows, saying Messenger now sees more than 150 million video calls a day.

Encrypted video calls in Messenger.

Encrypted video calls in Messenger
Photo: Facebook

The Facebook chat app WhatsApp already provided end-to-end calls with encryption or E2EE, preventing anyone other than the sender and recipient from seeing the encrypted information. So do other video calling apps such as Zoom, Signaland Apple FaceTime. Facebook characterizes E2EE as “becoming the industry standard” in all communications services. Previously rumors have suggested that Facebook may introduce a unified, end-to-end encrypted messaging system on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram — but so far this has not happened.

Text chats get a smaller update. If you set a message to disappear, you’ll see more options as it expires, between five seconds and 24 hours. (It originally offered increments of minutes, 15 minutes, hours, four hours, and 24 hours.)

While everyone will see the above updates, Facebook will run a limited beta test of other features. Some users see the possibility of accessing end-to-end encrypted group chats and calls “between friends and family who already have a thread or are already connected.” Others get support for Facebook’s current non-E2EE controls as to who can reach them in Messenger. And finally, if you use Instagram, the “limited test” also provides an optional E2EE for direct messages from that app.

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