The move brings Meta a step closer to implementing its plan of merging all chat services into a single encrypted platform.
Meta is advancing its proposed plans to integrate its messaging tools into a single and end-to-end encrypted platform. In addition, the company has announced that it will soon implement encryption within all group chats on Messenger.
“Last year, we announced that we began testing end-to-end encryption for group chats, including voice and video calls,” explains the company in its announcement. “We’re excited to announce that this feature is available to everyone. Now you can choose to connect with your friends and family in a private and secure way.”
Meta plans to eventually allow users to cross-communicate between WhatsApp, Messenger, and IG Direct within a single platform and apply the same data protection level to each surface.
This means that all messages sent via a Meta-owned app will be shared under encryption and be inaccessible to third parties, including authorities and law enforcement officials.
This privacy issue has recently raised concerns from governments and law enforcement groups about the potential risks of limiting police from tracking and investigating potentially criminal communications.
Meta – a company that has previously criticized Apple’s actions toward securing and protecting user data in its famous ATT update – is now arguing in favor of protecting user information from external access.
Along with encrypting communications within group chats on Messenger, Meta has also announced another privacy feature. The company says it will now notify users when respondents on the other end of a chat take a screenshot of a disappearing message.
On another note, Meta is adding GIFs, Stickers, and reactions to end-to-end encrypted chats. With the update, the tap and hold gesture on a message will now bring up the emoji reactions tray.
Another update introduced in the announcement improves on the message reply and forward options, now accessible with a long press or a swipe on messages within end-to-end encrypted chats. In addition, when long-pressing a specific message to forward, users will be able to create a new group before the message is forwarded.
New video editing tools have also been rolled out, with new options to add stickers, use mark-up tools, add text, crop and edit the audio.