Meta Says End-to-End Encryption Will Be the Default in Messenger ‘in the Coming Months’


Meta has provided an update on its progress in rolling out end-to-end encryption by default on Messenger, which it’s been implementing over the past few months.

Well, really, Meta’s been working towards making E2E encryption the standard across all of its messaging apps since 2019, as part of a broader plan to integrate its various messaging platforms into one unified service.

That program has faced pushback on various fronts, with law enforcement groups, in particular, saying that broader encryption will protect criminals in its apps. But Meta’s continued to steadily move ahead with the plan anyway, which is now coming to more people’s Messenger chats.

Messenger encryption

As per Meta:

All of your personal messages in 1:1 chats on Messenger will become end-to-end encrypted by default. During the roll out process, chats that become end-to-end encrypted will say “messages and calls protected with end-to-end encryption.” Like many other security features, once your chats are end-to-end encrypted by default, they’ll always be secured with end-to-end encryption to protect the content of your conversations.”

The main impetus of Meta’s plan, at least based on what it’s communicated, is that this will give users more privacy, and given the broader push towards data control and security, it makes sense for Meta to implement those protections across all of its apps.

Indeed, WhatsApp has seen rising usage in most regions due to its enhanced security, and really, Meta’s simply moving in line with this trend by bringing encryption to all of its apps.

Though some have also speculated that Meta’s initial motivation for linking up its back-end messaging infrastructure was to essentially weld all of its platforms together, so that they can’t be broken up.

Back in 2019, when Meta first unveiled its messaging integration plan, there was speculation that the company could be forced to divest Instagram due to ongoing antitrust concerns. Those calls have died down now, but there were some initial thoughts that by merging the messaging elements into one, that would essentially make Meta’s platforms one interconnected service. Thus, it would be unable to split one or the other out, even if requested.

Whatever the motivation, Meta’s encryption plan is now close to a reality, with Meta noting that all Messenger chats will be encrypted by default “over the coming months”.

It’s a big shift, which, as noted, has taken years to enact. But now, it does look set to be coming to all of your Messenger chats.

Which will also mean that you have new conversation management options, and new processes to access your older chats. Meta’s provided an overview of all of those impacts, and how you can tell when E2E is enacted in your chats.

You can check out Meta’s full overview here.  

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