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Review: Facebook Messenger for activists?

A no-go for protestors
Last update: Jan 18, 2021

This app is popular in many parts of the world. It is owned by Facebook and does not provide proper security and privacy features. If it is possible to convince your fellow activists to use a different app, consider switching to a more privacy friendly alternative such as WhatsApp or Signal.

TL;DR: Facebook Messenger is one of the worst options when it comes to privacy. Activist Handbook recommends activists not to use it. Check out our reviews of other chat-apps.


Facebook Messenger is the most popular chat app in the United States, Australia and some European countries. It is blocked in China.

Monthly active users2.7 billion


The app is available on iPhone, Android and via their web app. You can create group chats for up to 250 people. Video and audio calls are possible as well for up to 50 people.

Max size250
Broadcast messagesno ☹️
Restrict who can add membersno ☹️
Restrict who can edit group infono ☹️
Restrict who can send messagesno ☹️
Mentioning specific peopleyes ✅
Inline commentsyes ✅
Disappearing messagesno ☹️
PlatformsAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, web

Security and privacy

Messenger does not use end-to-end encryption by default and it's developer, Facebook, does not have a good reputation on privacy either. The chat app is not open source. Do not use this app if you need privacy.

Open sourceno ☹️
End-to-end encryptionnot by default, but possible to create a secret chat ☹️
Collection of personal informationlots ☹️
Collection of metadatayes ☹️
Trustworthy ownerno ☹️

Price and revenue model

The app is freely available, at the cost of having Facebook collect data about you so that they can sell their personalised adds. There are advertisements in the app as well.

Sells personal datano ✅
Sells personalised adsyes ☹️
Is a nonprofitno ☹️

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