FACEBOOK will be introducing more encrypted and self-destructing messages in a massive shift towards a “privacy-focused” platform.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined the revamp in a blog post, revealing that the world’s biggest social network sees its future in intimate online chats.
AFP or licensors Mark Zuckerberg announced a massive shift towards a ‘privacy-focused’ platform
He also revealed that you may soon be able to send private messages between Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – so that friends can communicate if they are not using the same apps.
The announcement comes as Facebook attempts to move past a string of damaging scandals around user privacy, including Cambridge Analytica and the hack of tens of millions of users’ data.
Zuckerberg wrote: “I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever.
“This is the future I hope we will help bring about.”
He pointed out that private messaging, ephemeral (short-lasting) stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication.
This is in part because people are more cautious of having a permanent record of what they’ve shared, Zuckerberg believes.
Facebook is looking to set a new standard for private communication platforms “where content automatically expires or is archived over time”.
Zuckerberg wrote: “Stories already expire after 24 hours unless you archive them, and that gives people the comfort to share more naturally. This philosophy could be extended to all private content.”ZUCKS’S VISION OF THE FUTURE
The CEO added: “I believe working towards implementing end-to-end encryption for all private communications is the right thing to do.
“Messages and calls are some of the most sensitive private conversations people have, and in a world of increasing cyber security threats and heavy-handed government intervention in many countries, people want us to take the extra step to secure their most private data.
“That seems right to me, as long as we take the time to build the appropriate safety systems that stop bad actors as much as we possibly can within the limits of an encrypted service.”
Facebook has already started working on these safety systems, building on the work it has done in WhatsApp.
Zuckerberg said Facebook wants to first focus on making messaging as secure as possible.
Then they will build more ways for people to interact on top of that – including calls, video chats, groups, stories, businesses, payments and commerce.
Facebook is also working on a way of allowing friends to communicate with people across their networks from whichever app they prefer.
SENDS MESSAGES ACROSS DIFFERENT APPS
Zuckerberg wrote: “Today if you want to message people on Facebook you have to use Messenger, on Instagram you have to use Direct, and on WhatsApp you have to use WhatsApp.
“We want to give people a choice so they can reach their friends across these networks from whichever app they prefer.
“We plan to start by making it possible for you to send messages to your contacts using any of our services, and then to extend that interoperability to SMS too.
“Of course, this would be opt-in and you will be able to keep your accounts separate if you’d like.”
The CEO promised to transform the service from a company known compiling personal information shared by its users to one that gives people ways to communicate in private.
He laid out his vision following a rocky two-year period in which the company has weathered a series of revelations about its leaky privacy controls.
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It included the sharing of personal information from as many as 87 million users with a political data-mining firm that worked for the 2016 Trump campaign.
But experts warned last night that Zuckerberg – and Facebook – must do more.
Fatemeh Khatibloo said: “He’s kind of pulled together this idea that the thing that matters most to people is privacy between peers and one-to-one communication, ignoring completely the idea that people also value their privacy from Facebook.”
AFP or licensors The announcement comes as Facebook attempts to move past a string of damaging scandals around user privacy