Facebook Messenger calls and Instagram DMs get end-to-end encryption


There’s more interest in secure and private online communication than ever. One tool used by many modern communication services is end-to-end encryption. The importance of end-to-end encryption has reached the point that people do not trust applications that do not have encryption features in place. Due to this many prominent services and apps have been applying this encryption method in their apps. Now, technology giant Facebook is also adding end-to-end encryption in Messenger calls along with Instagram DMs.

Previously, the end-to-end encryption option was present only in Facebook Messenger’s secret conversations. The Facebook messenger had made available E2E (end-to-end) encryption since 2016. But now, Facebook is extending this protection to both voice and video calls on Messenger, which means that “nobody else, including Facebook, can see or listen to what’s sent or said.” This action has been taken as per the commitment made by the parent company Facebook in 2019 to bring E2E to all its messaging services.

“End-to-end encryption is already widely used by apps like WhatsApp to keep personal conversations safe from hackers and criminals. It’s becoming the industry standard and works like a lock and key, where just you and the people in the chat or call have access to the conversation.”

Ruth Kricheli, director of product management for Messenger
Facebook Messenger calls and Instagram DMs get end-to-end encryption 2

However, it is important to note that this E2E encryption is not applied by default in messenger. One will have to opt-in themself for this privacy protection feature. You have to choose to activate encryption, meaning your calls will theoretically be vulnerable to bad parties unless you are opt-in to this new feature. Since the encryption is not enabled as default, a good number of Messenger voice calls and chats out there will be probably less protected than they could be. Therefore, make sure you enable this new feature for your voice chats as soon as the new update is available.

Furthermore, Facebook is planning to start public tests of end-to-end encryption for group chats and calls in Messenger in the coming weeks. The press release from messenger also revealed that there is a plan at work to try E2E for Instagram direct messages. E2E is regarded as the gold standard in privacy protection in communication services. Hence, it is a piece of really good news for Messenger and Instagram users as they no longer need to worry about their privacy in communication.

About End-to-end Encryption

In short, end-to-end encryption is the act of applying encryption to the data on your device and not decrypting it until it reaches its destination. Even the service that is sending the data can’t see the content of your message when it passes through the server. Most of the service users are concerned about this encryption feature in their application as it shows the level of privacy they are getting while using the app. It gives the users the confidence that their communication is safe from prying eyes.

What makes end-to-end encryption unique is that whatever you’re sending is encrypted on your device and travels in encrypted form all the way to its destination. It’s only decrypted there so it can be read by the recipient. So, this protects the information of the users and thereby increases the security level of the application.

Other Apps that use end-to-end encryption

If you’re looking for apps that have end-to-end encryption already in place, here are some apps and services that offer it:

  • Signal
  • Telegram
  • Viber
  • WhatsApp
  • Threema
  • ProtonMail

Also Read: The Urban Space: A Novel Idea of Introducing World-Class Technology- Enabled Housing Experience in Nepal


About Author

Currently a final year student at Islington College, Dipesh Duwal is a passionate and quick learner who wishes to learn something new every day. When not writing, he is busy reviving his life energy through books.

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