“This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds” isn’t just a quote from Mission Impossible anymore. Facebook, in recognizing the need for safe and secure communication, has just announced a “Secret Conversations” messaging app that will function much like the film’s fleeting messages (though with less combustion).
“Providing more ways for people to safely share is an important part of making the world more open and connected,” said Facebook’s head of Messenger, David Marcus, in a statement. “Whether you’re asking a doctor for medical advice, sending sensitive account information to your spouse, or even your Social Security Number, it’s important to have options available for sharing these kinds of very sensitive messages.”
We live in an age where millions of people’s credit card information can be stolen in one fell swoop and private email servers can be used in criminal investigations. As such, encryption services are at a premium, and digital privacy has never been more highly valued. Facebook is expounding on Snapchat’s model of the ephemeral message in order to address those growing concerns—rather than just serve as a platform for face swaps and dubious screenshots.
With the Secret Conversations feature, a user will be able to send encrypted information and determine how long it remains viewable—anywhere from five seconds to six hours—before it ‘self-destructs.’ The optional feature, as Adweek reports, is in somewhat of a beta phase where Marcus and his team hope to gather feedback before making it more “broadly available” later this summer. Check out the accompanying video for a full demonstration.
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