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Messenger is finally getting end-to-end encryption by default

Messenger is finally getting end-to-end encryption by default


Years after Mark Zuckerberg said encrypted chats were coming to Messenger, it’s finally being enabled by default.

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Image of Meta’s wordmark on a red background.
Illustration: Nick Barclay / The Verge

Meta is now rolling out end-to-end encryption for one-on-one chats and calls on Messenger and Facebook, finally fulfilling a promise that’s been in the works for quite awhile. When end-to-end encryption is on, only you and the person you send a message to can see its contents, the company claims.

Encrypted chats were first introduced as an opt-in feature in Messenger in 2016, but after a long windup, end-to-end encrypted messages and calls for your conversations with one person will now be the standard going forward.

“This has taken years to deliver because we’ve taken our time to get this right,” Loredana Crisan, VP of Messenger

Developi, said in a statement shared with The Verge. “Our engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts and product managers have worked tirelessly to rebuild Messenger features from the ground up.”

According to Crisan, you won’t sacrifice Messenger features when using encrypted chats, so you’ll still be able to use things like themes and custom reactions. However, Crisan notes that it may “take some time” for all Messenger chats to switch over to default encryption.

Screenshots showing encrypted chats in Messenger.
Image: Meta

While this is a good step, end-to-end encryption is still not the default for group Messenger chats — right now the feature is opt-in. Instagram messages are also not encrypted by default, though Meta said in August that would happen “shortly after” the rollout for default private Messenger chats.