Facebook announced Thursday that it plans to test a new secure storage feature for end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger. Additionally, the company revealed new tests and updates to end-to-end encrypted chat on Messenger and Instagram that will roll out in the coming weeks. Meta, formerly Facebook, said that with the new security feature, users will be able to safely back up their end-to-end encrypted chats. The company also claimed that Facebook would not be able to access the messages.
In an official blog post, Facebook revealed plans to test a secure storage feature for end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger, which will allow users to back up their encrypted chats. The company says this feature will come in handy if a user loses their smartphone. According to Facebook, users will be able to retrieve their messages from end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger. The company also claims that Facebook will not be able to access the chats unless users report it.
Secure storage will be the default way to store end-to-end encrypted chat messages in Messenger, Facebook said. Users will have multiple options to restore their chats. Facebook will allow users to create a secure password or code that users must save to back up their end-to-end encrypted chats. Messenger users can choose to protect the security code or pin through a third-party cloud service such as iCloud. The company also said that this method of protecting codes or passwords will not be encrypted.
This week, Facebook will begin testing secure storage of end-to-end encrypted chats on Messenger on Android and iOS. The company said the feature is currently not available for the web and desktop versions of Facebook Messenger. It also doesn’t work with chats that aren’t end-to-end encrypted.
Additionally, Facebook announced more testing and updates to end-to-end encrypted chat on Messenger and Instagram. According to the company, new tests and updates will begin rolling out in the coming weeks. Facebook said deleted messages will soon start syncing across devices for end-to-end encrypted chats.
The company will also begin testing undelivered messages, replying to Facebook Stories, and other ways to access end-to-end encrypted messages and calls. Facebook has also integrated encrypted messaging into Ray-Ban Stories, allowing users to send end-to-end encrypted hands-free messages to others.
Facebook also launched an open-source web browser extension called Code Verify, available on Google Chrome, FireFox and Microsoft Edge. The code is said to be automatically verified when using Facebook Messenger. Facebook released a code verification extension in March to protect WhatsApp chats. This week, Facebook will begin testing the default end-to-end encrypted chat between some users.
The company is removing “disappearing mode” from Messenger. Users can now use the disappearing message feature. Facebook says Vanishing Mode on Instagram is not end-to-end encrypted and users can still access it.
Facebook will soon expand testing of opt-in end-to-end encrypted messages and calls on Instagram. The test was earlier only available to adults in certain regions. The company will add users from more countries, while adding features such as group chats. It will also be available to everyone, not just adults.
Facebook further said: “We will continue to provide updates as we progress towards the global rollout of end-to-end encryption by default for personal messages and phone calls in 2023.”