How many times has a plan been foiled because Facebook fired off a notification or alerted a friend about a secret conversation you were having? The problem with having Facebook on every device is that it’s impossible to hide anything.
Google Chrome invented the incognito browser for private planning and, well, other stuff. Now Facebook has finally caught on by giving us an actually private conversation option.
A new Messenger feature is being implemented this week that allows you to have secret conversations. Anyone with the Messenger app can turn on ‘secret conversations’ which hides messages not sent from that specific device.
So if you’re worried about keeping yourself logged in on Facebook on another device and someone else seeing your convos, this feature will make it look like you’re not talking to anyone.
Now this is where the plot thickens: according to CNN Money, “even government or Facebook itself won’t have access to conversations in secret mode”.
Since the FBI/Apple conflict about creating a backdoor to people’s cloud storage earlier this year, privacy has become a hot topic in the social media sphere.
Another feature that Facebook are adding (taking more from Snapchat) is the ability to customise expiration times on messages.
Users can now decide whether their messages stay permanently or disappear within five seconds.
This could be a huge asset that changes the way we feel about sharing information over Facebook.
It feels like our information is never safe on the internet. You never know who, whether they’re online or just peering over your shoulder, will see your messages – this is a step in the right direction, even if you can only have secret conversations with one person at a time…
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Facebook say it best: “We’ve heard from you that there are times when you want additional safeguards — perhaps when discussing private information like an illness or a health issue with trusted friends and family, or sending financial information to an accountant”