Group chats Facebook Messenger now support encryption with opt-in

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Facebook Messenger now also supports end-to-end encryption for group conversations, in text form as well as video and audio conversations. That was already possible for one-on-one conversations. As with one-on-one conversations, it is for the time being an opt-in.

In addition to encryption for the various forms of group communication, there are now notifications for when a user takes a screenshot of an automatically disappearing message. Encrypted chats now also support GIFs, stickers, reaction emoji, ‘typing’ indicators and more features that Facebook already offers by default. Those functions were still missing in the limited testing phase.

Encryption of group chats has been a long time coming. The one-to-one conversations in Facebook Messenger already got the option to be encrypted in 2016, although that only applied to text and video and audio couldn’t be encrypted until last year. Facebook parent company Meta recently announced that enabling encryption by default on its products, such as Instagram and Facebook Messenger, won’t happen until 2023. The company says it wants to come up with ‘solutions’ to prevent abuse.

Facebook uses the Signal Protocol for encryption in Messenger. That’s also used in WhatsApp, Instagram, Google Messages, Skype, and the Signal messenger app of the same name, where it’s also originally from.

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