Instagram’s end-to-end encryption for chats allows users to add an extra layer of protection to messages and calls to maintain privacy of sender and recipient. This means that no third party can view or listen to the messages that a user sends through an end-to-end encrypted chat.

How does Instagram encryption work?

Each device in such a conversation has a “special key” used to protect the conversation. When you send a message to someone in Instagram’s encrypted chat, your device locks the message while sending it. The message can be unlocked only by devices that own one of the special keys for the chat.

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Instagram’s help center states that no external party, including Facebook, can access end-to-end encrypted chats, as they do not have these special keys. “We couldn’t if we wanted to,” says Instagram.

How to start an end-to-end encrypted chat?

Step 1: Tap on the direct chat button on the top right of your Instagram home feed

Step 2: Click the new message button on the top right of your chat list page

Step 3: Tap the ‘Use end-to-end encryption’ option

Step 4: Then, click the profile of the account you want to start an end-to-end encrypted chat with

Step 5: Click ‘OK’ on the message that says ‘Your first end-to-end encrypted chat’

Step 6: Start your chat

You will see a lock icon on encrypted chats. All end-to-end encrypted chats appear separately in your Chat list.