Facebook Announces Shift to Messages & Content that Won’t Stick Around Forever

wickr blog 2

Chris Howell, Wickr CTO
March 9, 2019

The other day The Verge’s headline read: “Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will shift to emphasize encrypted ephemeral messages”

(https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/6/18253458/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-privacy-encrypted-messaging-whatsapp-messenger-instagram).

In his post, Mark Zuckerberg predicts that communications will “increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever.”

The principles that Facebook’s founder says they “plan to build more of our services around” are going to make for a more private internet. This is worth celebrating. At Wickr are excited about this shift because these are the very principles that have anchored Wickr since our founding. These are the principles upon which our entire product line has been built:

  • Private interactions. Control of who we communicate with and who can access our communications.
  • Encryption. End-to-end message security. No one else can read them, not even the provider.
  • Reducing permanence. AKA ephemerality. The idea that all data has a useful life, beyond which it’s a liability. Especially true in communications.
  • Safety. Do everything we can to keep users safe.
  • Interoperability. Empower users to interact with existing systems, networks and workflows.
  • Secure data storage. It’s more than just storing it in the right place, its having control over the life and ownership of the data.

Every one of these principles is core to our products today and knowing that the market is moving in this direction provides important validation for our team. I’m sure the bulk of the blogosphere will debate whether Facebook is genuinely moving in this direction. Nonetheless, its great to hear Facebook adopt these principles.

Facebook is very right to recognize that private, secure and ephemeral messaging are the fastest growing areas of online communication. Providing it has to be more than a business decision, though. It’s has to be about respecting people, helping to provide what they really need, and not taking advantage of them.