Facebook founder and humanoid CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, has issued an apparent warning to users of Facebook Messenger, telling them not to screenshot their conversations unless they want the other person to be notified of their screenshot.
Zuckerberg, who is battling declining Facebook users and a mass shareholder sell off, posted an update to his personal profile detailing the changes.
“New update for end-to-end encrypted Messenger chats,” he wrote.
“You get a notification if someone screenshots a disappearing message”.
So, if someone sends you something that you want to share, just bear in mind that the other person will be able to see that you’ve copied that message. A similar function is also in place in Instagram messenger.
The feature is only part of Facebook’s new encrypted Messenger chat service, however, which allows for conversations with disappearing messages. The new feature is designed to compete with encrypted messaging apps like Signal and Telegram that people are increasingly turning to in response to the massive oversight of personal data that companies like Meta hold.
WhatsApp, which Meta also own, has used encrypted end-to-end messaging for a number of years now, but the service only debuted on Facebook in the past few weeks.
The new function can be found in the settings of a conversation in the Facebook Messenger app. Messages can be set to delete themselves after a period of up to six hours and, Meta say, cannot be read by anyone, even the company themselves.
They use end-to-end encryption, sending private message keys with the message that only the recipient device can use to unlock the message. This kind of technology has been used in cryptography for decades but has become increasingly relevant due to the current climate of big data and big tech.
While the minor update may be a welcome change for some, Zuckerberg and Facebook investors surely have bigger issues at stake. Figures revealed last week by Meta showed that, for the first time, Facebook’s daily users dropped — and dropped pretty significantly.
Facebook lost around half a million daily users in the last quarter of 2021, dropping from 1.93 billion to 1.929 billion. It’s still a huge portion of the global population, however, the report spooked investors, resulting in a $320 billion sell-off of Facebook shares.
Some are predicting that with the metaverse investment that Meta has been pursuing, the competition from TikTok, and continuing regulatory problems in regions like Europe, not to mention the revelations about the mental health impacts of its products that surfaced last year, the sun may well be setting on Meta.
We’re a long way off from that, of course, but the wind has certainly been taken out of the Meta ships sails.