Facebook Messenger will send users an alert when someone screenshots a 'secret' message under the new Facebook updates. 

Meta founder - who owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp - Mark Zuckerberg, 37, announced a series of updates this week including changes to its 'secret' Messenger platform.

The changes involve Messenger's 'secret conversation' which is similar to WhatsApp's encrypted message function.

Mr Zuckerberg made the announcement via a status update on Facebook which included a picture of a chat between himself and his wife Priscilla Chan.

In the post, Zuckerberg wrote: "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."

The chat features a normal conversation between the couple but with a slight difference - we can see an alert where Priscila took a screenshot on the screen.

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What are the new changes to Facebook Messenger?

Users will now get a notification if one of their disappearing messages within the secret chat function, has been 'screenshotted' by the other user.

Those hoping to hold onto evidence of the conversation will be exposed in the new pop-up.

We will also see GIFs, stickers, and reactions added to the secret message format. 

The changes have already rolled out in the United States and are due to be expanded to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.

It is important to note that the notification can be turned off by either user at any point.

You can do this by changing the setting from encrypted to regular Messenger.

Are there other changes coming to Facebook?

Yes, Meta will be introducing a verified badge available for end-to-end encrypted chats. 

The verification has been designed to help "you identify authentic accounts and have meaningful interactions," Meta said in a press release.

The updates will also introduce typing indicators in conversations as well as the ability to pass along messages to friends and family.

You will also be able to reply directly to a message on an end-to-end encrypted chat, either by long pressing or swiping to reply. 

Will this happen on other social media sites?

Lancashire Telegraph: Social media app icons on a screen. Credit: PASocial media app icons on a screen. Credit: PA

Screenshot alerts already exist on the likes of Snapchat, so this update will be nothing new to fans of the instant messaging app. 

As Meta owns more than just Facebook, it is likely that the screenshot alert function will be rolled out to Zuckerberg's other platforms like Instagram.

Why are they introducing Screenshot alerts?

Meta is introducing Screenshot alerts on Facebook messenger to improve privacy.

Meta said that it “adds extra security and protection to your messages” by ensuring that only two people involved in the chat can access its content.

"We think it’s important that you are able to use encrypted chats and feel safe, so we want to keep you informed if anyone takes screenshots of your disappearing messages," Meta said in a press release.

“No one can read your messages or hear your calls except the people who have these special keys - not even Facebook.

"This is the same feature we offer in Messenger’s vanish mode, and now we’re rolling out this notification over the next few weeks for disappearing messages in our end-to-end encrypted chats," it added.