Facebook makes five major changes to Messenger as Brits notice they can finally keep ‘text snoopers’ out with new button


FACEBOOK has alerted Brits about a number of big changes that have finally arrived on Messenger.

The social network has introduced several new features that are heavily inspired by WhatsApp.


Users are also prompted to create a safety PIN for the appCredit: Alamy

Taking a leaf out of WhatsApp’s book is hardly surprising given that it and Messenger are both owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s tech powerhouse Meta.

Brits this week have been greeted by an alert on the app that says “Messenger is getting an upgrade”.

Among the most sought after features is the ability to edit messages and even make them disappear after 24 hours.

Users who aren’t keen on people knowing whether they’ve seen a text already can also turn off read receipt ticks, so you don’t feel pressured into replying immediately.

One of the most controversial changes is that end-to-end encryption is switched on automatically now.

The security feature is designed to be an extra layer of protection so no one can intercept and read your messages.

But critics have long argued that it could make Messenger a safe haven for criminals and paedophiles.

Previously, you had to switch end-to-end encryption on yourself within the settings.

Calls are also covered by the same protection.

Announcing the move in December, Meta said: “The extra layer of security provided by end-to-end encryption means that the content of your messages and calls with friends and family are protected from the moment they leave your device to the moment they reach the receiver’s device.

“This means that nobody, including Meta, can see what’s sent or said, unless you choose to report a message to us.”

Why are critics against end-to-end encryption on Facebook Messenger?

Charities including the Internet Watch Foundation and the NSPCC have long condemned Facebook owner-Meta over plans to fully encrypt Messenger.

When the tech giant announced it would go ahead with the controversial change in December, the Internet Watch Foundation accused the company of choosing to “prioritise the privacy of paedophiles over the safety of our children”.

“Meta is effectively rolling out the welcome mat for paedophiles,” charity chief Susie Hargreaves OBE said at the time.

NSPCC boss Sir Peter Wanless, echoed the concerns, saying: “By starting to roll out end-to-end encryption on their services, Meta are choosing to turn a blind eye to crimes against children we know to be proliferating on their platforms.”

Meta argues that end-to-end encryption “helps keep people safe from hackers, fraudsters and criminals”.

“We don’t think people want us reading their private messages so have developed robust safety measures to prevent, detect and combat abuse while maintaining online security,” a spokesperson said.

In a further attempt to boost security, users are also being prompted to set a PIN so no one can go snooping on their messages.

Meta says it’s made improvements to media within Messenger too.