Meta has announced that it’s introducing more features to end-to-end encrypted chats that you already like and use in normal, unencrypted Messenger conversations. The new features include chat themes, custom chat emojis and reactions, group profile photos, link previews, active status, and Android bubbles.
In addition to these features, Meta says that more people will see individual chats become end-to-end encrypted. This won’t happen on all of your chats as the company wants to do a bit of testing, but don’t be surprised to see some of your chats affected. It said millions of people around the world will be affected by the change over in the coming months.
The new features are expanded upon by Meta below:
- Chat themes: We’ve added chat themes to help personalize and enhance your conversations in end-to-end encrypted chats. Tired of a plain background? Can’t wait to show your Swiftie credentials with the Midnights theme? Now you can set themes, including static color and gradient themes, for end-to-end encrypted chats.
- Custom chat emojis and reactions: Want to personalize your response? You can see the full menu of emoji reactions and customize the quick reaction tray in end-to-end encrypted chats.
- Group profile photos: Choose group profile photos for different chats with friends or work colleagues.
- Link previews: We’ve rebuilt link previews for end-to-end encrypted chats so that you can see where a link is taking you, before clicking on it.
- Active Status: Let people see when you’re active, so they know when it’s a good time to call. You can also choose to turn this feature off, if you want to improve your privacy.
- Bubbles on Android: Bubbles (a circle with your friend’s picture) let you read and reply to messages while you’re using other apps. Once enabled, a bubble will appear when you get a new message.
Meta said that if any of your conversations are turned into end-to-end encrypted chats you should know it was selected randomly so that "there isn’t a negative impact on [its] infrastructure and people’s chat experience".