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Facebook Experimenting Self-Destructing Messages on Messenger App

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Facebook Messenger is set to invade the space of Snapchat and Telegram with self-destructing messages.

At the moment, this feature is being tested in France and unlike Snapchat where a message lasts for a few seconds before it disappears, Messenger will keep your messages for an hour before getting rid of them. This news was first reported by BuzzFeed and as of now, there is no communication from the social networking giant regarding more information about this feature, including when it will be available.

There is no doubt that this destructive messaging feature will push Facebook Messenger to the same heights with Snapchat as far as privacy is concerned; however, it seems this chat app is a bit late to implement this feature. At the moment, there are big names in the industry that have already done this; among them LINE, which has Hidden Chats that disappear within a predefined amount of time, as well as WeChat, which introduced the ability to recall messages back in 2014.

Facebook Messenger has more than 700 million monthly active users, most of which are based in the U.S. Why the company is testing this feature in France we are yet to find out, but we expect that once it is done, it will be availed to the entire world. LINE on the other hand has more than 211 million monthly active users whereas WeChat claims to serve more than 500 million users.

What’s special about ephemeral messages?

Snapchat’s popularity keeps rising among the U.S. teens and young adults thanks to the fact that the app offers the destructive messaging feature that assures users of their safety. However, it seems this ephemeral messaging’s main appeal isn’t just about sending private and sensitive information on Facebook Messenger.

What the messaging app is trying to do with disappearing messages is actually echoing real life chats. According to TechCrunch, this is an experience that Messenger has tried to duplicate with features such as quick selfie cam and read receipts.

It is not Facebook’s first attempt into the ephemeral messaging world. Facebook came in with Poke back in 2012, a service that was intended for use when sending self-destructing images and videos. During its first days, many thought that Facebook Poke was destined to kill Snapchat, but it failed to gain any significant traction. This opened the way for Snapchat as this photo and video sharing app has further added 200 million people to use its user base and today, it offers more than disappearing messages thanks to new richer features such as Live Stories.