There aren’t many opportunities in life to feel like a super-secret undercover agent, which is why we jump on anything that will make us just a little bit more like 007 (secret Tinder account, anyone?). But now we — and 900 million others — are about to get high-security clearance (kind of) from an unexpected source.
Today, Facebook announced “Secret Conversations,” a new Messenger feature that will guard messages against prying eyes. The feature is made possible by something called end-to-end encryption. Translation: The secret messages will only be available on the two parties’ phones. And no one will be able to see the words sent — not Facebook itself, not a hacker and not even an FBI agent with a warrant.
The feature will be based on an opt-in system, meaning users will have to manually select the setting. Secret conversations won’t offer the features Messenger has been rolling out over the past few months (sending GIFs, money or video), but users will be able to have their messages self-destruct after a set amount of time, à la Snapchat (our favorite part of this whole thing.)
The feature is being tested by only a few beta users right now, but everybody should get it later in the summer or fall. We’re counting down to the day we can send our friend a mundane message with the accompanying words “This message will self-destruct in five…”