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Facebook To Alert Users When Messages Are Screenshotted

Cameron Frew

| Last updated 

Facebook To Alert Users When Messages Are Screenshotted

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Facebook Messenger will soon notify its users when their chat has been screenshotted, Mark Zuckerberg has announced.

Clandestine screenshots are a blessing and curse; they can be playful and mischievous, used to capture hilarious moments in group chats before being shared online; they allow friends in the midst of an argument to keep others in the loop, or seek emotional support from an outsider; or at their worst, they allow people to save intimate things and share them without permission.

In order to ensure more security for its users, Messenger is getting the Snapchat treatment; in other words, if you use the 'disappearing messages' feature, the other user will be notified if you try to screenshot the chat.

Late last week, Zuckerberg shared a screenshot of a conversation with his wife, Priscilla Chan. 'New update for end-to-end encrypted Messenger chats so you get a notification if someone screenshots a disappearing message. We're also adding GIFs, stickers, and reactions to encrypted chats too,' he wrote.

The photo shows a notification that reads, 'Priscilla turned on disappearing messages. All new messages will be removed 12 hours after you have seen them,' as well as a dad joke.

Messenger will now notify users if 'disappearing messages' are screenshotted. (Alamy)
Messenger will now notify users if 'disappearing messages' are screenshotted. (Alamy)

This is currently only available to users in the US, and is expected to rollout to Europe in the coming weeks.

While WhatsApp allows its users to send messages that automatically delete after seven days, Facebook's 'Vanish Mode' deletes messages as soon as users leave the chat, and its 'secret conversations' function allows people to set a specific timer on when the messages will disappear.

'People expect their messaging apps to be secure and private, and with these new features, we’re giving them more control over how private they want their calls and chats to be,' the platform earlier wrote.

Mark Zuckerberg is promoting the 'Metaverse'. (Alamy)
Mark Zuckerberg is promoting the 'Metaverse'. (Alamy)

'People don’t always want or need their messages to stick around and the timer controls let someone decide when their messages expire in the chat. We’ve updated this setting to provide more options for people in the chat to choose the amount of time before all new messages disappear, from as few as 5 seconds to as long as 24 hours.'

The move has been praised by some users, while others have grown tired of his 'metaverse' ramblings. 'I have to say, what you’ve accomplished IS super cool. However... I wish the same energy was put into making REAL LIFE better for humanity instead of the virtual one. Nothing will ever be better than human to human connection and interaction,' one user wrote.

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Topics: Technology, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg

Cameron Frew
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