Ever since its inception, social media has impacted technology, and technology, in return, has also changed social media for the better.
One of the ways tech has improved social media is in the introduction of end-to-end encryption technology.
End-to-end encryption is a specific type of communication system where private messages between users are kept confidential from everyone else. Third parties, such as internet providers, cannot read the messages because they appear encrypted. This system protects people’s privacy whenever they use a particular communication platform, including social media networks.
Two of the biggest social media companies with end-to-end encryption features are WhatsApp and Snapchat. You might be surprised to learn that bigger networks like Instagram do not have end-to-end encryption. Their closest encryption feature will encrypt direct messages in transit, but they won’t encrypt end-to-end messages.
If you buy Instagram likes to gain more attention from Storm likes, make sure you don’t communicate with too many people through the direct messaging feature. Use Instagram for communication with large numbers of people at once. But if you need to communicate one-on-one with someone through a private message, use Snapchat or WhatsApp.
That said, below are the other social media networks utilizing end-to-end encryption technology as of now. Maybe more networks will join in the future; we can’t say. As you know, nobody can accurately predict the future of social media or what innovations it might bring.
- Facebook Messenger
Why is communication encryption so necessary? The answer is simple. People want privacy when they communicate with friends and family online. They don’t want to worry about their messages getting read by law enforcement, internet service providers, or any other third party. It doesn’t mean their messages contain illegal content. It just means that people want to have their privacy respected.
End-to-end encryption offers security to private online conversations. That is why Snapchat and WhatsApp have embraced it so much. It gives peace of mind to social media users and allows them to be more comfortable using these platforms. If people are more comfortable on a social media network, more people will want to use it.
How it Works
If you want to understand how end-to-end encryption technology works, you must think about how messages get exchanged online. Several different computers allow messages to get sent and retrieved.
When you send an email message or chat message to another person through a traditional communication system, the message does not go from one person’s computer to the other person’s computer. It gets stored on a third-party computer. The recipient communicates with the third-party computer to retrieve the message.
This creates a privacy issue because someone can access the third-party computer and look at the messages stored on it. End-to-end encryption technology has solved this problem by encrypting messages before storing them on a third-party computer. That way, anyone who accesses that computer will only see encrypted text disguising the actual messages.
Decryption is the only way these social media messages can get read. The third-party computer does not have decryption technology installed. But on the users’ computers, they have the decryption technology built into their software applications. Whenever they send messages to each other’s apps, they become encrypted and then decrypted.
For example, let’s say John wants to send an instant message to Jane on WhatsApp. When John taps “Send” to send his message, it becomes encrypted before reaching the third-party computer. The recipient, Jane, will access the third-party computer to retrieve the message. Her app will decrypt the message after it is retrieved so that she can read it. All of this happens within an instant.
Benefits of End-to-End Technology on Social Media
The demand for this technology is growing by the day. Below are the top four benefits of the social media end-to-end encryption feature. If any social network wants to compete in the 21st century, they need to respect people’s demand for private conversations online.
1) Businesses Can Generate More Revenue and Leads
Businesses use social media as much as individuals. Many business marketing strategies revolve around social media nowadays. If people start to distrust specific social platforms because they don’t have adequate communication security, they will likely stop using those platforms. But if they trust the security, more people will use them.
As a result, businesses can promote their ads and posts to a larger audience. Not only that, but they can chat with potential leads and customers who trust the communication system. It will encourage people to chat with businesses without worrying about third party eavesdroppers. In return, businesses have the potential to earn more revenue from social media that uses this technology.
2) People Can Share Sensitive Information Safely and Securely
When people communicate on social media through private messaging, it is not uncommon for them to share sensitive information. This information might include a physical address, phone number, or email address. If the wrong person were to see this information, it could be disastrous to the sender.
End-to-end technology secures private information. The third-party will see encrypted characters that represent this sensitive information. It will keep the sender’s privacy safe from anyone else. Only the recipient will be able to decrypt it on their end.
3) Hacker Proof
Another third party you would typically need to worry about is hackers. If you have unencrypted messages passing between two computers and a server, they are susceptible to hackers. All it takes is for one unauthorized user to hack into the third-party computer and read the private messages in it.
If the third-party computer uses end-to-end technology, the hackers won’t have the ability to decrypt it either. It is one extra layer of internet security protection for a social media platform and its users.
4) Financial Transactions
Some social media networks have started to allow financial transactions to take place on their platforms. The most prominent example is the Facebook Marketplace. Sellers can post up “for sale” ads and make deals with other Facebook users in their local areas. The payments don’t get processed on the platform, but users can share their financial details if necessary.
End-to-end encryption can keep these financial details private from anyone else. Of course, you must trust the person on the other end not to reveal that information themselves. It is up to you to make that determination.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, approximately 27% of technology users have confidence that credit card and cell phone companies keep their information secure. They also found that only 20% of email users trust their email providers.
What does that tell you? It indicates that most people believe their email messages and financial details are not protected on the internet. Between hackers and government officials spying on people, the demand for end-to-end technology is exceptionally high. Social media is smart to start incorporating it into their platforms. Any platform that refuses to use this technology will lose its users over the next decade.