- Over the past two years, we’ve introduced more controls for people on Messenger to manage their privacy.
- We’ve expanded the features available in our end-to-end encryption chats and made existing features better as part of our goal to build the safest private messaging app.
Over the past few years, more consumers around the world have sought apps that offer strong privacy features (source), and that’s been top of mind as we listen, learn, and improve our own approach to privacy. We recently refreshed a report that looks at our investments in privacy and details our commitment to embed privacy across all our technologies, such as Messenger. The company as a whole is evolving as we build new processes and products with privacy and safety by design.
Today, I wanted to dive into how our increased focus on helping protect people’s privacy and giving them more controls has impacted how we think about personal messaging. Our teams are working hard everyday to offer people the safest private messaging experience on Messenger. We’ve introduced changes that give people more control over who can message you, increased security to protect people’s messages from hackers, and simplified tools that enable people to make clear choices about their privacy. Antigone Davis, Meta’s global head of safety, recently explained how we approach safety, and this blog details our approach to privacy and security.
Choice and control
Messenger helps more than a billion people stay connected to those who matter most to them. They expect their conversations to be a private, secure, and safe experience. For Messenger, we want you to have the ability to make choices about who can contact you, as well as control your level of privacy. We also want to make these choices simple. Research by TTC Labs has shown that people are more likely to use privacy controls when they are accessible and easy to use. This is why we recently launched Privacy Center to better explain how you can choose your level of privacy.
We’ve also updated some of our features to make them easier to use and offer more choices:
Control your privacy
- Privacy Settings: You can control your privacy in Messenger by making certain information private or public to specific people. You can find these privacy settings on the Privacy tab of your Messenger account. Privacy settings contain a range of additional tools, some of which are listed below, to help you make decisions about your privacy.
- Message Delivery Controls: These give you more control over who can reach you and how. For an added layer of security, we also hide or blur images and disable links unless you reply to the message or copy and paste the link in a browser tab.
- Unsend Message: You can permanently unsend a message that you’ve sent or simply hide a message from your view.
- Activity Status: You can hide whether you’re active or recently active by turning off your active status.
- Block and Restrict: You can block messages and calls from someone’s Facebook profile account, and they’ll no longer be able to contact you. If blocking feels too permanent, you can now restrict someone to temporarily disable incoming message notifications or calls. You also won’t be able to call or message them, and we won’t tell them they’ve been restricted.
- Safety Notices: We introduced safety notices that help people spot and avoid potentially harmful interactions like scams. More than 150 million people saw safety banner notices on Messenger over the course of April and May 2022.
End-to-end encrypted chats
- Calling, Groups and Expressions: We expanded our end-to-end encrypted chat to include calling and group chats. Now people can choose to add an extra layer of security to their group messages and calls. We’ve also rolled out a number of new expressive features in end-to-end encrypted chats.
- Disappearing Messages: We improved our disappearing message controls in our end-to-end encrypted chats. Before, you could only set a timer for your own messages, but now anyone in the chat can choose how long messages stick around.
- Screenshot Notifications: We introduced screenshot notifications for disappearing messages, letting you know if we detect someone has taken a screenshot of your message or photo.
On device security
- App Lock: This feature lets you add another layer of security to your messages on iOS by preventing anyone who borrows your phone from accessing your messages.
- Two Factor Authentication: Two factor authentication helps protect you from hacking and phishing attempts, even if your password is compromised. If activated, we will send you a code to your mobile device or email address, in addition to requiring your password.
- Login Alerts: These help safeguard your account from potential threats and attacks. These messages are designed to warn you if we detect unrecognized logins and login attempts.
We are continuing to work on improving our approach to privacy and think carefully about the way we build our products for the future. We also want to continue working with privacy experts, and contribute to the ongoing discussion about the interaction of privacy, safety and security.
Our research and discussions internally and with others will help us make better products, contribute to others’ work on safety and privacy, and chart a way forward with a more thoughtful approach. Being part of the conversation will help us play our role in delivering a much safer, secure and private world.
Every day, billions of people around the world use end-to-end encrypted messages to stay in touch with their family and friends, run their small businesses and advocate for causes. In these messages, they share private information that they only want the person they message to see.
We are committed to helping people take control of their privacy on Messenger, and will continue working towards the goal of building the most private and safe messaging platform.