Notification if Someone Screenshots a Disappearing Message on Facebook Messenger

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, introduced a major new feature for Facebook Messenger that would greatly increase privacy on the platform: notifications when someone screenshots your disappearing messages in a Secret Conversation protected by end-to-end encryption.

On January 27, 2022, Zuckerberg posted, “New update for end-to-end encrypted Messenger chats so you get a notification if someone screenshots a disappearing message.” “In encrypted chats, we’re also adding GIFs, stickers, and reactions.”

Disappearing messages were first deployed by Facebook in November 2020, in both Messenger and Instagram. The change was part of a bigger push by the business to provide more security across its messaging systems, with WhatsApp acquiring a similar feature only weeks earlier.

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) has been implemented throughout Facebook’s messaging systems. E2EE is the gold standard of privacy and security, and it is a major increase from server-side encryption. In the case of server-side encryption, the key that can be used to decode your data is held by the service provider. As a consequence, you’ll never know who has access to your data or communications.

However, using E2EE, your data is encrypted so that only you and the person with whom you’re interacting can read it. Even the service provider you’re utilizing is unable to intercept and read your messages. While E2EE provides unparalleled security, it might be more challenging to integrate functionality that are prevalent in non-E2EE services.

That divergence is what distinguishes Zuckerberg’s most recent announcement. Facebook now offers screenshot notifications in E2EE conversations, giving such communications an extra degree of privacy and protection. Meanwhile, the inclusion of replies, GIFs, and stickers to these chats will spice up private interactions. The new features are now being rolled out.


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