How to use Secret Conversations feature on Facebook Messenger

Facebook has been one of the most popular social messaging services. Almost all the instant messenger services have introduced the end to end encryption on their platform. Facebook too has recently joined the bandwagon. We will understand the concept of secret conversation on Facebook Messenger.

Facebook has recently completed its roll out of the end to end encryption on its messaging service. If you are looking for a way to start a Secret Conversation with your friends through Facebook Messenger, we have good news for you. Facebook has enabled the feature in tune with the trend. Let us find how to do that in the following article.

Why do we need Encryption?

That is indeed a valid question. The major reason you would need to opt for the end to end encryption is safeguarding your privacy.
Your online identity is at stake. There is a constant threat from several quarters. There are online marketers, then there are hackers and yes, not to forget - the government intelligence agencies. If you want to hide your personal life from the prying eyes of the public, you will be in need of the end to end encryption.

What is Secret Conversation on Facebook?

Secret Conversation is what Facebook refers to the end to end encryption on its Messenger service. WhatsApp has recently become the largest end to end encrypted instant messenger service with its global roll out. Facebook, in tune with its philosophy, began rolling out the feature for its users in a phased manner.

The feature rollout has been now completed, and over 900 million users on Facebook have now the encryption feature enabled on their Messenger app. The messages are encrypted end to end. That means the messages will remain encrypted between you and the recipient. No one can interpret the messages between you and the recipient, including the company itself.
The encryption feature on Facebook differs from what you observe on WhatsApp. Whereas WhatsApp has enabled the end to end encryption feature and made it mandatory, Facebook Messenger has kept it as an opt-in option.

How to start Secret Conversation?

Well, Facebook has made it quite simple to use the feature. Before you head on to activate the feature on your Messenger app, do remember to update your Facebook Messenger app to the latest version.
Here is how you can use the secret conversation feature on your device.

If you are on an iPhone or iPad
Follow the steps below -
  • Launch Facebook Messenger.
  • On the Home tab, tap on the PLUS icon.
  • Tap on Secret on top right corner.
  • Choose the message recipient.
  • Start your secret conversation

If you want, you can tap on the timer icon so that you can configure the message to disappear after the stipulated time.

If you are on Android

  • Launch Facebook Messenger.
  • Open a conversation with a contact whom you want to have a secret conversation with.
  • Tap the i icon at top right corner.
  • Tap on Secret conversation
  • Start the conversation.

You are free to configure the timer if you want the message to disappear after the stipulated time.

What can you use the secret conversation with?

There are some restrictions on what you can use the secret conversations with. You can send the following items via secret conversation
  • Messages
  • Stickers
  • Images

You will not be able to use the following features on secret converstion
  • Group Messaging
  • Voice or video calls
  • Payments
  • GIFs

What if you want to delete Secret Conversations

You can delete the secret conversations you had with your contacts. Please note that deleting the messages from your device will not delete them from the recipient's phone. Follow the steps below to delete your secret conversations.
  • Launch Messenger.
  • Tap on Profile icon.
  • Scroll down and choose Secret Conversation.
  • Tap on Delete Secret Conversations
  • Tap Delete All.

Is it safe?

Well, the service is safe. The end to end encryption ensures that your messages will remain just between you and your contact. No one will have access to the message that was shared between you two. However, please note that the recipient of your message can or may have shared it with someone else.
However, if you think any message you receive has violated the Facebook policies or if you think it is not worth it - you can report them to Facebook. Some of the reasons you can report a message can be harassment, threats, sexual content, or bullying.
To report a message, you may follow the steps below -
  • Launch the conversation you would want to report.
  • Tap on the name of the sender .
  • Tap on Block or Report
  • Now tap on Report Conversation.
  • Choose the reason for the report.
  • Explain the issues in your own words.
  • Now tap on Send

Please note that the messages will be decrypted once you report. The message will be sent to the Facebook Help Team for the necessary review. Do not worry - the person who has sent you the concerned message will not come to know that you have reported the post.

The Final Words

Well, that is exactly how you can send and receive Secret Messages on your Facebook Messenger. The end to end encryption ensures that you and your profile will stay safe. The introduction of self-destructive messages is another added advantage. The secret messenger service is based on the Signal Protocol. It would be interesting to note that it is the same encryption protocol used on Google Allo and WhatsApp. The protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems is a renowned name in encryption technology.
Have you used the Secret Conversations feature on Facebook Messenger? If yes, do share your views and opinions so that our readers will benefit from your experience.

Article by Timmappa Kamat
Timmappa Kamat is a technology enthusiast. He has an active interest in newer technological developments. He is fond of new gizmos & gadgets. He loves to share his knowledge through tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, he is equally interested in blogging, with his own blog. He wants to carve a name for himself in blogging arena one day! If you need any clarifications about his articles,please respond here below or get in touch with him through his profile.

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