Technology

Facebook Messenger getting a desktop app, end-to-end encryption, and more

Facebook’s also creating a new version of the mobile app that’s smaller/faster.

Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world, and in a now-removed blog post published ahead of its annual F8 developer conference, Facebook announced a heap of new features and changes coming to the platform later this year.

First on the list, Facebook is creating another version of the Messenger mobile app. Referred to as “Project LightSpeed”, the app will be able to launch in under two seconds and weigh in at just 30MB. Unlike Messenger Lite that’s designed for low-end hardware and omits some of Messenger’s more high-end features, Project LightSpeed will offer the full Messenger experience but be based on “an entirely new code base.” It’s unclear when the app will be ready, however, as Facebook simply notes that it’ll “take time to roll out.”

That’s not the only new Messenger app Facebook’s working on, however. Also announced by the company is a Messenger desktop client for Windows and macOS. You’ll be able to access all of your messages, video chat, and more in the desktop app, and according to Facebook, it’ll be released at some point this year.

In addition to new apps, Facebook’s also making a big push to have Messenger become more social than it is in its current form. On this note, a “Watch Together” feature is being tested that allows users to join a virtual room and watch videos with one another simultaneously. Along with that, Facebook also shared screenshots of a new Friends section that’ll help you find pictures, videos, and more from your closest friends.

Last but certainly not least, Facebook is working on designing Messenger to be completely end-to-end encrypted. Although we don’t have a date as to when this will be available, Facebook does note that it’s “committed to making Messenger end-to-end encrypted by default.”

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