Facebook Inc (FB) Copies Snapchat, Tests Disappearing Messages


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has confirmed that it is testing out a new feature that will allow messages to disappear on its Messenger app.

The feature is reminiscent of a similar feature used in Snapchat. Sources familiar with the information revealed that the feature will allow users to choose whether or not messages should stay or disappear. The feature can be turned on and off by clicking on an hourglass-shaped icon that appears on the top right corner of the application. Once activated, messages will automatically disappear within an hour.

Additionally, the feature is activated when the user is on a specific conversation thread, meaning when the feature is activated, it will only delete messages from the conversation for which it was activated. Facebook released a statement that the disappearing messages feature is yet another new feature that users can benefit from using Messenger. Facebook further added that it is a great feature for private conversations especially to those who users consider important.

The feature is currently being tested in France and the company is eager to receive feedback from users. Facebook also announced that the feature will soon be launched to users in other countries if it proves successful in the test area. This is the first time that the company is introducing such a feature to a core product though a similar feature has been featured in one of its other apps.

Slingshot is a photo and video sharing app that Facebook launched in June last year. The application allows users to send photos and videos that are then erased from the recipient’s application after some time. The company launched the application to compete against Snapchat in the same space.

A spokeswoman revealed that the feature is currently available for Android and iOS devices in France, though it will be expanded to other regions in the future.

Messenger currently has about 700 million active users every month. The company hopes that the new feature will encourage more sign-ups by boosting Messenger’s popularity. The concept of disappearing messages has proved to be exciting for social media fans. More apps are introducing such a feature including China’s WeChat application.

Sources: fortune