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Facebook copies Snapchat with dissapearing messages

by Jacob Kleinman | November 13, 2015November 13, 2015 5:00 pm PST

Facebook‘s never been afraid to steal a good idea from its competition. The social network even launched its own Snapchat clone, Poke, after the disappearing messages app declined a $3 billion buyout offer. Now Facebook is trying to steal Snapchat’s thunder again with a new feature for Messenger.

Facebook Messenger appears to be testing out the option to send vanishing messages. The new feature, which was spotted by BuzzFeed, is limited to France at the moment. Facebook says it’s still just a test, though it could expand to other countries later on.

“We’re excited to announce the latest in an engaging line of optional product features geared towards making Messenger the best way to communicate with the people that matter most,” Facebook said in a statement. “Disappearing messages gives people another fun option to choose from when they communicate on Messenger.”

The new feature looks pretty easy to use. Just tap a new hourglass icon in Messenger and all your messages will disappear after one hour. Tap it again to return to regular messaging.

After a message disappears, you’ll still see an empty bubble in the app where it used to be. That way if you missed it entirely you can follow up to see what your friend was saying.

This definitely isn’t a Snapchat killer, but it’s a nice little update for Facebook. After all, not every message you send to a friend needs to be saved forever.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...