Shh... Facebook makes secret messages more widely available

Shh... Facebook makes secret messages more widely available

(KFVS) - Shh... we have a secret.

You can now have secret conversations on Facebook.

Facebook unveiled a new tool on its Messenger app that allows you to send messages that can only be read by you and the other person.

The company says the conversations in Messenger will be end-to-end encrypted.

How does it work?

If you are discussing private information with someone, anything from your bank account number to an illness, chances are you might want additional safeguards in place to make sure no one else can read the messages on Facebook.

That is why the company rolled out the new technology to send secret messages.

They can only be read on one device of the person you're communicating with.

No one else can read them, not even Facebook.

Both you and the other person in the secret conversation have a device key that you can use to verify that the messages are end-to-end encrypted.

You can even set a timer to control the length of time each message you send remains visible within the conversation.

According to Facebook, the goal is to better support conversations about sensitive topics.

To start a secret conversation on Messenger:

  1. From the home tab, click the new message button.
  2. Tap Secret in the top right corner
  3. Select who you wan to message.
  4. If you want, you can set a time to make the message disappear, just tap the button that looks like a clock.

Is it available for everyone?

Secret conversations are currently only available in the Messenger app on iOS and Android, so they won't appear on Facebook chat or

Facebook rolled out the new tool in July.

The company planned to make the option more widely available throughout the summer.

The messages are only visible on the device where you create the conversation and the device the recipient uses to open the conversation.

That means if you send it via your mobile phone, the message will only be available on their mobile phone. They will not be able to access the message on their computer.

How can you prevent bullies from taking advantage of the tool?

Facebook isn't screening these secret messages. According to the company, Facebook can't read them.

You can report a message, though, if someone is harassing you or sends you sexual content.

Facebook says you can also report messages for a short time after they have disappear.

How to report a secret conversation:

  1. Open the secret conversation you want to report
  2. Tap the person's name at the top
  3. Tap Block or Report > Report Conversation
  4. Select the category for your report and tell Facebook what happened in your own words
  5. Tap Send

Facebook also says keep in mind that the person you're messaging could choose to share the conversation with others. For example, the could take a screenshot of the conversation.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.