Messenger and Instagram Direct are among the two most popular messaging services out there. Despite millions of people using them every day, Messenger and Instagram Direct are not really privacy-friendly as they do not end-to-end encrypt chats by default.
Facebook has now promised that it will roll out end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram Direct “in 2022 at the earliest.”
Facebook Has Been Slow in Adding Chat Encryption to Messenger and Instagram Direct
Facebook first promised to add end-to-end encryption to Instagram Direct and Messenger in 2019. However, it has been taking its own sweet time for this, and it is even testing various Messenger features that won’t work with end-to-end encryption.
In a new announcement on FB newsroom, Facebook shared its safety and security plans and highlighted the results of various studies conducted by it. Additionally, it mentioned that while it is working on end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram Direct, it wouldn’t be able to fully encrypt them until sometime in 2022.
While we expect to make more progress on default end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram Direct this year, it’s a long-term project and we won’t be fully end-to-end encrypted until sometime in 2022 at the earliest. Moreover, the safety features we’ve already introduced are designed to work with end-to-end encryption, and we plan to continue building strong safety features into our services.
Apart from Messenger and Instagram, Facebook also owns WhatsApp, which is the only messaging service from the company to feature end-to-end encryption by default for chats.
As things stand right now, you can initiate an encrypted chat in Messenger using the Secret Conversations feature in the app. This feature was first rolled out in 2016.
Messaging Apps With End-to-End Encryption Have Soared in Popularity
Messaging services with end-to-end encryption have surged in popularity in recent times. WhatsApp, iMessage, and Signal are among the major messaging platforms with end-to-end encryption support.
While Telegram has also emerged as a popular Messenger alternative, its chats are not end-to-end encrypted by default. Like Messenger, it requires one to use the Secret chat mode for this.
Facebook has long been criticized for its lack of respect for user privacy and data collection practices. The company taking such a long time to add end-to-end encryption support to Messenger and Instagram Direct will not do much good to its image.
If you value your privacy or want a more secure platform for your conversations, check out the best Facebook Messenger alternatives for private chats.