Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has said he believes secure, private messaging services will become more popular than open platforms.
In a blog, Mr Zuckerberg outlined his vision to transform Facebook into a “privacy-focused platform.”
Facebook owns Messenger and WhatsApp, but message encryption limits its ability to make money through targeted adverts.
The social media giant has come under fire for a series of privacy scandals.
In 2018, it emerged that the data of about 50 million users had been harvested and passed on to a political consultancy.
Some critics see the proposed changes as a way of Facebook perhaps abandoning its responsibilities, says the BBC’s North America technology reporter Dave Lee.
If what happens on Facebook is more private and temporary, he says, it may be harder to hold the site accountable for any perceived misdeeds.
What did Mr Zuckerberg say?
“Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square,” said the billionaire founder of Facebook.
“But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room.”