Facebook Messenger could soon get more secure, less convenient

Opt-in encryption may come at a cost

Facebook Messenger is looking into adding end-to-end encryption - a move that would improve user privacy but also hinder Facebook's other plans for the app.

The feature would be opt-in and expected out within the coming months, sources told The Guardian. However, preventing Facebook - or any authority, for that matter - from peeking in on your messages could inhibit the service's venture with machine learning.

Facebook's recently announced chatbots, which can perform tasks ranging from gather news to ordering tickets within the app, become less effective if they can't intuit more about the user by accessing their personal data.

Google ran into similar concern when it announced Allo - its own take on the messaging app that utilizes the same encryption technology as Facebook-owned communication bigwig WhatsApp.

Unlike WhatsApp - which automatically encrypts all messages and can't be switched off - Allo's encryption settings are not activated by default so that special contextual features, like automatic "smart replies," can still be used.

A Facebook representative did not confirm if encryption was coming to the Messenger app, explaining that the company does not "comment on rumor or speculation."