How to use the "secret conversation" function in Facebook Messenger

How to use the “secret conversation” function in Facebook Messenger

In recent years, encrypted messaging apps have become more and more popular. Signal, Telegram and now Messenger.

Despite being run by a company not known for its data security, Messenger’s “secret conversation” feature is a legitimately secure way to chat with friends and colleagues. Secret conversations are protected with end-to-end encryption, which means no one outside of the chat can read what’s inside.

It’s similar to Vanish mode, another Messenger feature that prioritizes secret and secure conversations.

If you care about privacy and want to use Messenger, Secret Conversations should be your go-to tool. Here’s how to start a secret conversation and customize its settings.

How to create a secret conversation on Messenger

Secret Conversations are exclusive to the iPhone, iPad, and Android Messenger apps. You won’t find them in the desktop app or Messenger website.

1. Open the Messenger app and tap the compose message icon in the top right corner.

2. A list of all your contacts will appear. Here, tap the button in the top right corner – on an iPhone or iPad it will say Secret while on an Android it will be a switch with a lock icon.

Screenshots of the messaging apps for iPhone and Android showing how to trigger a secret conversation.

3. Tap the person you want to have a secret conversation with. It has to be a one-on-one chat – you can’t have a secret group chat.

4. You will be taken into a secret conversation with the person of your choice. Once a message is sent, it will appear on their device.A secret conversation in the iPhone Messenger app.

If you are Facebook friends with the person on the other side of the chat, you can enable disappearing messages as well. These allow you to put a timer on each message you send, so that it deletes itself after a short period of time.

1. At the top of the secret conversation, tap the other chatter’s name (iPhone or iPad) or the “i” icon (Android) to open the options menu.

2. Touch Disappearing messages then choose the duration of the messages.

The Disappearing Messages menu in the iPhone Messenger app.

Also, you can report the person you are chatting with, block them or simply delete the chat. To do this, open the options menu again and tap respectively Something wrong , Block or Delete chat .

The options menu of a secret conversation in the iPhone messaging app.  The options "Block", "Something wrong" And "Delete chat" are highlighted.

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