Facebook announces privacy updates for Messenger on mobile

Facebook Messenger iMessage Alternative
Facebook Messenger iMessage Alternative (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Facebook today announced new privacy features for Messenger.
  • It's adding an App Lock, coming to Android customers in the coming months.
  • Messenger will soon add its own advanced message controls, letting you choose what can land in your inbox.

Facebook will soon roll out a couple of privacy-enhancing features for Messenger on mobile. Aimed at putting privacy in the hands of users, these range from keeping your messages safe when handing your phone off physically to keeping your message inbox itself safe from unwanted contacts.

First, just like with WhatsApp, Facebook is adding App Lock to Messenger. Users will be able to password-protect their messages or even use a biometric lock to keep from prying eyes. Unfortunately, while that's coming to iOS users today Android users will have to wait an unspecified period of months until we do, probably before the end of the year.

In the future, Messenger will also add controls that let you control exactly who can message you and who gets shunted over to the message requests folder. As it stands, it's currently handled by Facebook automatically. This upcoming update is intended to give more choice to the user and unifies Messenger's privacy features with Instagram.

To recap, Instagram at the moment allows you to choose between everyone and the people you follow. While Facebook isn't as clear cut as Instagram as it uses a mix of following and friending, it's not hard to see how the system can be adapted.

Finally, Facebook will also be testing a feature that blurs messages when shared in a Message request from someone you don't know. It'll prevent people from harassing users by sending inappropriate or distressing photos.

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