Facebook plans to test a new secure storage feature for end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger, the company announced on Thursday. Additionally, the company has also revealed new tests and updates to end-to-end-encrypted chats on Messenger and Instagram that will be rolled out over the coming weeks. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, said that with the new security feature, users will be able to safely back up their end-to-end encrypted chat history. The company also claims that these messages will not be accessible to Facebook.
In an official blog post, Facebook has revealed plans to test a secure storage feature for end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger that will allow users to back up their encrypted chats. The company said that this feature will come in handy in case a user loses their smartphone. Users will have the ability to retrieve their messages from end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger, according to Facebook. The company also claims that Facebook will not have access to these chats, unless a user reports it.
Facebook said that secure storage will be the default way to store the messages from end-to-end encrypted chats in Messenger. Users will have multiple options for restoring their chats. Facebook will allow users to create a security pin or a code, which the user will have to save, to back up their end-to-end encrypted chats. Messenger users will have the option to secure the security code or pin via third-party cloud services, like iCloud. The company also said this method of securing the code or pin will not be encrypted.
This week, Facebook will start testing the secure storage feature for end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger on Android and iOS. The company said that the feature is currently not available for the web version of Facebook Messenger and Messenger for desktop. It is also not available for chats that are not end-to-end encrypted.
Additionally, Facebook has also announced more tests and updates for end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger and Instagram. The new tests and updates will start rolling out over the next few weeks, according to the company. Facebook said that deleted messages will soon start to sync across devices for end-to-end encrypted chats.
The company will also start testing the unsend messages feature, reply to Facebook Stories feature, and other ways to access end-to-end encrypted messages and calls. Facebook will also integrate the encrypted messages feature to Ray-Ban Stories that will allow users to send end-to-end encrypted hands-free messages to others.
Facebook also unveiled an open-source web browser extension called Code Verify, which is available on Google Chrome, FireFox, and Microsoft Edge. It is said to automatically verify the code while using Facebook Messenger. Facebook released the Code Verify extension to protect WhatsApp chats back in March. This week, Facebook will start testing the default end-to-end encrypted chats between some users.
The company is removing ‘Vanish Mode’ from Messenger. Users will now have access to the disappearing messages feature. Facebook said that the Vanish Mode on Instagram is not end-to-end encrypted, and will be still accessible to users.
Facebook will soon expand the test for opt-in end-to-end encrypted messages and calls on Instagram. The test was earlier available only for adults in select regions. The company will add users from more countries, while adding functionality like group chats. It will also be available to everyone, and not just adults.
Facebook further said, “We will continue to provide updates as we make progress toward the global rollout of default end-to-end encryption for personal messages and calls in 2023.”