For years, the Messenger app has been aiding users in interacting with their friends who are connected to them through Facebook. Meta, who owns Messenger as well as Instagram and WhatsApp has been continuously working on increasing the privacy of the users by developing End-to-end encryption for its apps.
Meta already offers increased security and end-to-end encrypted chats and calls for WhatsApp users. However, the most anticipated feature is still missing from the Messenger app! But why?
The company had already experimented with E2EE in the past but there hasn’t been a full-fledged successful integration of the feature in the individual chats as yet.
Facebook has earlier faced the wrath of the users and the Government for breaching the users’ privacy and making their chats and data available to third parties, or even the public in some cases.
The company thus has been facing increased pressure to provide an end-to-end encryption feature in the Messenger app so that the chats and media messages of the users remain private. This will allow the Messenger chats to become more secure as they will not be accessible by anyone else, not even Meta.
Meta has finally communicated its plans concerning the same as the company has planned to expand the testing for End-to-end Encryption on Messenger. In a blog post, the company stated it has started making the default E2EE available to millions of users starting August 22, 2023, amidst its testing phase.
To access the feature, users will have to update their Messenger app to the latest version and they will be able to see the default E2EE feature. The company will simultaneously secure the chats with the upgraded E2EE.
The company also mentioned its promises to officially launch the complete E2EE feature for the Messenger app for all users by the end of this year.
Timothy Buck, the Product Manager of Messenger, in a blog post, explained why there was this massive delay in bringing the default E2EE to the Messenger app. He listed down the set of challenges the company and the team had to face in order to build end-to-end encryption while also ensuring an uninterrupted messaging experience for the users.
“As we’ve developed E2EE, we have had to rebuild over 100 features in this client-centric way. Messenger is one of the richest chat experiences available. We know that people want encryption, but they also want the same fun and ability to express themselves they’ve come to expect on Messenger.
Also, the messaging function worked through Meta’s servers which acted as a gateway for the messages between the sender and the receiver. Thus the company had to redesign the structure so as to make it work without enabling Meta’s servers to see the messages.
However, building E2EE is much harder. We not only needed to transition to a new server architecture but to rewrite our code base to work on multiple different devices, rather than just the server.” – blog post on Messenger’s official site.
Another reason why the feature took so long to come to the users was because of the challenge that the company had to rewrite the entire code base for the messages and calls right from scratch.
After the roll-out of end-to-end encryption for Messenger’s chats, the company will soon bring the end-to-end encryption security for the Instagram DMs as well.