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Facebook Testing Secret Conversations On Messenger: This Secure Message Will Self-Destruct In 3...2...1

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Facebook is trying to tell everyone about Secret Conversations, a upcoming option for the social network's Messenger service that brings with it end-to-end encryption and time-sensitive messaging.

Due out later this summer, Secret Conversations will offer users a more secure alternative to the core Messenger app. The new feature has been rolled out as a limited trial for now.

This won't be a stand-alone app, as it will live inside Messenger and take on whatever user interface elements and features it can without compromising its premise: better security.

Facebook is looking to give users the option for a more secure Messenger experience so that people will rely on the messaging service for more than a sidebar conversation from the public stream of posts and post comments.

Right now, many Facebook users fear sending sensitive information over Messenger just because they've seen enough of their friends and family members oddly promoting work at home opportunities that pay $225 an hour.

Facilitating the safe flow of sensitive content is vital to pushing the world to be more connected, more open, according to David Marcus, head of Messenger.

"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," Marcus says in a Facebook post.

The more secure alternative to Messenger will generate its own conversation threads and will offer users the option to put a shot clock on messengers.

Users can put a timer on their Secret Conversation messages so that the content, after the user-specific time has passed, explodes in an underwhelming display of data being turned into zeros.

Secret Conversations will rely on keys, stored on the sender and recipient's devices, to decrypt messages. Secret Conversations will rely on a transport protocol and infrastructure that are different than those used by the core Messenger app, though Marcus asserts that the main chat tool doesn't slack on security.

"To be clear, your existing 'regular' messages and calls on Messenger already benefit from strong security systems as Messenger uses secure communications channels - just like banking services - all around," Marcus states. "But we're rolling out this additional capability as an option for the most sensitive conversations you might need to have."

Secret Conversations won't replace Messenger because the service would have to drop features like GIF-sharing and thread archiving, Marcus explains.

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