There’s no doubt that Snapchat is one of the most influential messaging services in the world right now, and Facebook Messenger hence has to keep its game up in order to stay relevant. In an attempt to do just that, the latter service has come up with an ephemeral messaging feature now.
That means just like on Snapchat, the messages sent by people on Facebook Messenger will automatically disappear after some time. This is of course an optional trait, and has been outed as an experiment which is being conducted only in France at the moment.
Through a statement, Facebook has said that disappearing messages provide people with ‘another fun option to choose from when they communicate on Messenger.’ The company is currently taking feedback from the people who are using it, and hasn’t said anything about bringing it to other nations.
As for how the ephemeral messaging feature works, a new hourglass icon has started appearing for people in their chats. You can tap on this icon to turn the trait off or on. If it’s turned on, every message will self-destruct after exactly an hour.
This means neither the sender nor the receiver will be able to see what that particular message was. The picture in the space right below comes via BuzzFeed, and shows exactly how the chat will look once the messages have self-destructed.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has tried to emulate Snapchat, if you’re not aware. After its failed attempt at purchasing the app in 2013, the social network released a similar offering called Slingshot which didn’t quite manage to generate much interest among smartphone users.