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Messenger boosts end-to-end encrypted chats with a massive feature drop

Meta’s new end-to-end encryption boost for Messenger includes a warning if someone takes a screenshot of the conversation when the other party is using “vanish mode.”

The feature is already part of the main app formerly known as Facebook Messenger, but now comes to end-to-end encrypted chats, enabling those protecting themselves online to learn when their chat has been ‘grabbed by other parties.

“We think it’s important that you are able to use encrypted chats and feel safe, so we want to keep you informed if anyone takes screenshots of your disappearing messages,” Meta says in a blog post on Thursday.

The addition of screenshot warnings is just one of the new features coming to the (still optional), end-to-end encrypted messenger experience, which make it less distinguishable from unprotected chats. For those who opt in, group chats, video and voice calls will also be protected by the anti-snooping standard.

Messenger screenshot warning

GIFs and Stickers can now be included in E2EE chats, along with the standard Reactions and replies to specific messages. E2EE chats will also include typing indicators for 1:1 and group chats. Other additions include the ability to forward messages, verified badges for applicable users, the ability to save media to your device, and edit photos or videos from the gallery before sending.

“We know the importance of safety and privacy when it comes to communicating with the people who matter most to you. End-to-end encryption protects you and your data from hackers, criminals and other prying eyes. We hope these features elevate your private messaging experience as we continue to improve your encrypted conversations with friends and family,” the company writes.

You can turn on end-to-end encryption within Meta Messenger by toggling the padlock icon when creating a conversation. The company is planning to make the feature the default option for all users at some point, and adding all these rich media features could speed up the process somewhat.

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